What Your Brain Needs Following a Concussion to Support Healing

Mar 26, 2020

Dr. Ben Connolly, ND

Dr. Ben Connolly, ND


The brain – it’s complicated. In fact, we know more about the intricacies of our solar system than we do about the intricacies of our brains. Brain injuries (read concussions) are usually thought of as a swelling of the brain following a blow to the head. Sports injuries, bumps to the head and even falls or car accidents can all cause injury to our body’s control centre. But when it comes to managing the effects of a concussion things are more complicated than just staying in a dark room with little stimulation for 24 hours.

When it comes to healing the brain, it’s not necessarily the noticeable brain tissue damage that’s the issue, it’s the sudden biochemical changes that occur directly after even a minor trauma. This can manifest in headaches, dizziness, insomnia, anxiety, fatigue, concentration and memory issues, to name just a few.

Treatment of a brain injury requires a team approach to not only focus on the immediate effects, but also the lingering issues. From a functional medical perspective this involves three very important things the moment you experience a bump to the head.

[ONE] Boost your brain glutathione levels.

This powerful compound is your body’s garbage disposal system – it’s a powerful antioxidant that will help decrease brain tissue inflammation and slow damage from forming. Anti-aging and free-radical fighting in nature, the best way to get this compound is through intravenous infusions and precursors such as ALA (alpha-lipoic acid) and NAC (n-acetyl-cysteine).

[TWO] Decrease that inflammation

Using a compound known as curcumin, which is the active component of turmeric. But not all curcumin supplements are created equal, and only bioavailable forms can pass through both the gut and blood brain areas. This is crucial as the difference in getting this compound to your brain versus not can have lingering effects on the outcome and speed of your concussion recovery.

[THREE] Catch some zzzz’s

Sleep is crucial, and you’ve probably noticed I talk about it a lot. But when it comes to the brain, supporting sleep can help in actually healing the tissue, as well as activate the glymphatic system (which helps move toxic build-up in our brain tissue). Using sleep supports might be helpful for a variety of reasons, and compounds like L-Theanine, melatonin, 5-HTP and scutellaria should be dosed according to each person.

Know someone who has suffered from a concussion and is still feeling the lingering effects? Send them this article! 


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