Is Rest after Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) for the Best?
There was a report on National Public Radio this morning related to this topic which provides a fascinating update for those of us engaged in traumatic brain injury (TBI) care. A recent study at the Cleveland Clinic concluded that “People With Brain Injuries Heal Faster If They Get Up And Get Moving.” The group of researchers appeared to be working with moderately/severely brain injured patients, not just with individuals post-concussion or post mild traumatic brain injury. If hastening the return to activity is good for those with more severe pathology, one could assume that the same conclusion could logically be applied to those with concussions or milder brain injuries. It is hypothesized in the article that activity may assist with healing from traumatic brain injury. The story is 6 minutes long and is available at: http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2015/07/06/419519145/people-with-brain-injuries-heal-faster-if-they-get-up-and-get-moving
This kind of story reinforces findings from an article published in 2013 which generated headlines at the time, entitled “Is Rest after Concussion the Best Medicine?: Recommendations for Activity Resumption Following Concussion in Athletes, Civilians, and Military Service Members,” authored by Silverberg and Iverson and available at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22688215. What I extracted from this article is that, based on their review of numerous research studies, the authors felt that rest exceeding 3 days is probably not all that helpful in the long run for recovery after traumatic brain injury, and in fact may reinforce perception of disability, illness, or apprehension about one’s condition. I suspect that more and more research will be coming out on rest and recovery after concussion. Stay tuned!
About the author. Dr. Ana Messler is a board certified clinical neuropsychologist and licensed psychologist based out of Charlotte, NC who has provided thousands of evaluations where the question of traumatic brain injury and symptom validity were raised. She has also served as expert consultant and witness. She believes it is critical to provide a scientifically defensible opinion, and to help the jury and court understand the implications of the neuropsychological aspects of cases before them.