Medical Mondays: Concussions with Michael Collins, PhD

Medical Mondays: Concussions with Michael Collins, PhD


Medical Mondays Video Transcript

Voiceover:  On Medical Mondays we separate fact from fiction when it comes to sports concussions.

Michael Collins, PhDThe word concussion literally translates from Latin to English to mean to shake violently. Think about your brain as like an egg yolk inside an eggshell.

When the eggshell moves, the yolk is going to move inside the shell. And that movement of the brain inside the skull is actually what produces the concussion.

You don’t need to lose consciousness to have this injury. You don’t even need to be hit in the head to have this injury.

We’re actually finding there to be different types of concussions:

  • Cognitive is one.
  • Vestibular is another in the brain’s ability to interpret movement and motion.
  • Ocular, or your ability to move your eyes.
  • Migraine
  • Neck problems
  • Anxiety and mood

Our assessment process is we’re going to look at cognition, we’re going to look at vestibular functioning, ocular functioning, symptoms, and we’re also going to look at how the patient responds to exertion. When you put that information together, we can come up with diagnosis, prognosis, and really have a much better understanding of how severe the injury is and how long it’s going to take to recover.

Voiceover: Concussion experts customize each patient’s treatment based on symptoms, sport and goals. And design an active recovery program.

Michael Collins, PhD: We have different physical therapies that we’ve developed to help get patients back to play.

We have exertional therapists, that’s all they do is teach patients how to move after a concussion. Move dynamically. Because that’s where the injury really breaks down.

Voiceover: UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program is the largest, most comprehensive, concussion treatment program in the country.

Michael Collins, PhD: I can’t tell you how important it is that a patient is evaluated in a comprehensive, knowledgeable, prescriptive way, at a specialty clinic that does that does this every day.

One of the main reasons we’re successful here at UPMC with our concussion program is our multi-disciplinary care. We have 35 faculty and staff that are all working together, that communicate to one another. And that’s how we can get athletes treated effectively and get them back to play safely.