Baseline EEGs for children in sports

Do you have a child who plays sports? If so, you may have heard that some sports, especially contact sports, can increase your child’s risk of a concussion or other brain injury. That’s why many neurologists, including us, recommend baseline EEGs for children in sports.

What is an EEG?

An EEG, or electroencephalogram, is a test designed to detect the electrical activity of your brain. Using electrodes attached to your scalp, the test measures that activity. Neurologists use EEGs to diagnose epilepsy and other brain disorders.

What is a Baseline EEG?

A baseline EEG is an EEG performed under “normal” conditions. The goal is to determine what an individual’s brain activity looks like without injury or disease. This is important because while there is a range of normal brain activity, each person’s brain has its own normal pattern. Knowing that pattern can make it easier to detect if a person has suffered a brain injury.

Why should my child have a baseline EEG?

Baseline EEGs give us an accurate picture of your child’s brain under normal conditions. If your child has a concussion or suspects a concussion, we can immediately do an EEG and determine that it is normal. If there is a change, we can recommend treatment designed to help minimize the effects and symptoms of brain injury.

What is a Concussion?

While we have always been aware of the danger of brain injury, for many years people believed there was a difference between mild concussions and more serious traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, concussions are TBIs. They can happen when something causes the brain to bounce, swell, or twist inside the skull. Concussions can have immediate consequences, such as confusion, blurred vision, and headaches. They can also lead to long-lasting headaches, cognitive problems, and even personality changes.

Why is early intervention important?

Even people with mild TBIs can experience a range of symptoms, which can appear immediately after the injury or develop in the days, weeks, or months following the injury. Early intervention may prevent some of these symptoms from developing. Medications can help manage symptoms that develop, such as chronic headaches and seizures. Physical therapy or other forms of rehabilitation therapy can help someone recover from an injury. While the majority of people with mild TBIs will make a full recovery within 3 to 6 months after the injury, the effects can also be cumulative. Early intervention can help treat that injury and reduce the risk of accumulated injuries.

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