Here’s What You Can Do If You’ve Had Head Trauma – Pt. 4

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

If you’ve had a brain injury, you need to put your brain in a healing environment as soon as possible. In the fourth and final episode of “Brain Trauma Awareness Week,” Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen use the BRIGHT MINDS context to discuss a recovery plan for those who have experienced a  traumatic brain injury.


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Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. Here we teach you how to win the fight for your brain to defeat anxiety, depression, memory loss, ADHD, and addictions.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics where we've transformed lives for three decades using brainspect imaging to better target treatment and natural ways to heal the brain. For more information, visit
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way podcast is also brought to you by Brain M.D. where we produce the highest quality nutraceutical products to support the health of your brain and body. For more information, visit Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way podcast. So we're back. We're still talking about traumatic brain injuries and I'm going to again clarify that.
Tana Amen: These can be from closed head injuries where you never lose consciousness. It could be from a car accident, 'cause if you're like me, I thought it had to be really severe where you cracked your skull and had a brain drain and all that stuff. Does not have to be that. So if you've ever fallen out of a tree, off a fence, had a motorcycle accident but didn't lose consciousness. Anything, a bicycle accident, think about it and think if it's had any impact.
Tana Amen: If you're suffering or struggling, think about the connection that, that could have. Please listen to the other three episodes that we did on TBI this week. And then, we're gonna to talk about what you can do for TBI, and I am assuming that a lot of it has to do with what part of the brain was injured. And I guess we're going to probably talk about the four circles, right? Bio, psycho, social, spiritual, and how you address that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, the most important thing you can do is put your brain in a healing environment as quickly as possible. So, what are the things you do right away? So you get assessed to make sure that you don't have a brain bleed. That's really important.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And, a lot of doctors recommend a dark room where you do nothing, and they just basically recommend bedrest. The new research is saying that's really not the right thing to do. You don't want to over work your brain. And if you got it playing sports, you need to go out of that sport until your brain has completely recovered. And just think, if you have a shoulder injury and you go back too soon, you're much more likely to make the shoulder injury permanent.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And, with the brain injury you, you need to be completely symptom free before you put yourself at risk. And you know us, we're not fans of risk anyways, even if you've never had a traumatic brain injury because we don't want you to get one. So, [crosstalk 00:02:53] the first thing [crosstalk 00:02:54]-
Tana Amen: I'm assuming that there are some general things that everyone should stop doing and then some of them are tailored to the individual.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Correct. And, when we talk about bright minds, when we've done the whole Memory Rescue group, that's really not just Memory Rescue, it's concussion [crosstalk 00:03:12]-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Or traumatic [crosstalk 00:03:13]-
Tana Amen: Similar.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Brain [crosstalk 00:03:14]-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Injury rescue is you want to put your brain in a healing environment. You mentioned the four circles. So there are biological factors. So as we go through bright minds, that's mostly biological. There's also psychological factors, not believing every stupid thing you think [crosstalk 00:03:32]-
Tana Amen: Well, not being [crosstalk 00:03:32] in a chronically stressful environment, where there's a lot of fighting, or a lot of chaos, or a lot of just negativity [crosstalk 00:03:39]-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Because, chronic stress elevates inflammation, and it also elevates cortisol [crosstalk 00:03:45]-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Which prevents healing.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So quickly, going through Bright Minds as it relates to traumatic brain injury, when we see the low blood flow [crosstalk 00:03:59]-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: On the scale [crosstalk 00:03:59], I saw it on yours-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And, so you want to increase blood flow in a healthy way. So the supplement Ginkgo and then [Benpositein 00:04:11]. We have both of them and brain and memory power boost that we have from Brain M.D. Hyperbaric oxygen that we do in the clinics can be really helpful, it's one of the reasons I fell in love with hyperbaric oxygen. Getting rid of toxic foods [crosstalk 00:04:32]-
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Processed foods [crosstalk 00:04:33]-
Tana Amen: Sugar especially [crosstalk 00:04:34] and [crosstalk 00:04:34]-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Especially sugar [crosstalk 00:04:36]-
Tana Amen: Sea boils, and yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right. And, so that's blood flow. The B in Bright Minds, R is retirement and aging. When you stop learning, your brain starts dying, so I'm not a fan of people going into a dark room and do nothing. It's push your brain. Read, learn new things because ... Now, don't do it to the point where you get headaches and you get dizzy, but push it just to that point.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The I is inflammation. You need to decrease the inflammatory [crosstalk 00:05:09]-
Tana Amen: Again, diet is a big part [crosstalk 00:05:10] of that.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Diet is a big part [crosstalk 00:05:11]-
Tana Amen: And supplements.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And, the supplements particularly Omega three fatty acids, Curcumin. Brain M.D. makes brain curcumins. We also have Omega three power, and probiotics can also be helpful because inflammation [crosstalk 00:05:29] comes from leaky gut
Tana Amen: Yep. So, eliminating things the foods that increase inflammation is critical. Again, sugar is one of the big ones. Processed foods, cheap oils [crosstalk 00:05:40]-
Dr. Daniel Amen: And foods that turn to sugar.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Bread, pasta, potatoes, rice [crosstalk 00:05:43]-
Tana Amen: Gluten containing foods.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And, it doesn't mean you have to do get rid of them completely, but clearly limit them [crosstalk 00:05:49] is smart. The G in Bright Minds is genetics. And do you know, if you have Alzheimer's in your family and you have a head injury, that significantly elevates the risk further.
Tana Amen: That makes sense.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So I actually argue [crosstalk 00:06:04]-
Tana Amen: 'Cause you're decreasing the blood flow already from the TBI, and then now you [crosstalk 00:06:07] have a genetic component.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Genetic vulnerability.
Tana Amen: Makes sense.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And, it's interesting actually the study on boxers. And boxers who had the Alzheimer's gene, that's called the apolypo [crosstalk 00:06:17] protein E4 gene. Who had the gene, actually showed cognitive impairment after their 11th fight. where boxers who did not have the gene, did not show cognitive impairment until after their 30th fight. And so, if you have dementia, depression, bipolar disorder in your family, you need to do what you can to stay away from traumatic brain injuries or make sure you're really aggressively rehabilitating them.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The H in Bright Minds is head trauma. If you have one head trauma, you're more likely to have another why? Because it begins to decrease activity in your cerebellum, [crosstalk 00:06:55]-
Tana Amen: Right. You're clumsier.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Which is a major processing part of the brain.
Tana Amen: It's like my sister. It's like my God, 19 car accidents and she also fell off of a Washer, hit her head. You look at some people and you're like, how? How do you get through the day crossing the street? I don't understand. And plus she had Erlands, so the depth perception thing was just like, I'm like, no, no.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And she's done better.
Tana Amen: Much better.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Since she's gotten [crosstalk 00:07:16]-
Tana Amen: She is not had the same [crosstalk 00:07:17]-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Treated [crosstalk 00:07:16]-
Tana Amen: Problem.
Dr. Daniel Amen: For the Erlands.
Tana Amen: So much better.
Dr. Daniel Amen: T is toxins. So you wanna make sure alcohol is not a health food, but people [crosstalk 00:07:24]-
Tana Amen: Smoking-
Dr. Daniel Amen: After head injuries, people and we've talked about it. They're more anxious, they're more depressed, they have more negative thoughts, they have more financial problems [crosstalk 00:07:30]-
Tana Amen: So they wanna [crosstalk 00:07:31]-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Which means [crosstalk 00:07:31]-
Tana Amen: Numb it.
Dr. Daniel Amen: They're more likely to numb it with smoking, or with drinking, or with marijuana that everybody thinks is good medicine, which is complete nonsense. And personal products. They're toxins, Parabens, stalates in your makeup, in your shampoo, in your body wash, in your deodorant. So, getting rid of the toxins, putting your brain, your body in a healing environment.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Mental health issues, dealing with those and dealing with those doesn't mean taking meds, it just means what are the natural ways I can deal with [crosstalk 00:08:08] anxiety and depression we talk about here all the time. I is immunity and infections. Make sure your vitamin D level is good.
Tana Amen: Some of these are simple.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Oh, so simple.
Tana Amen: Just like, fix your diet. Well, diet I know it's harder for some people, but even like just the supplements, checking your vitamin D level, that's not hard to do.
Dr. Daniel Amen: And then N is neuro hormones. We talked about that during this week. If you've had a concussion, you need to get those levels checked and then optimized. First there are natural ways to optimize them they talk about in Memory Rescue, but you may need hormone replacement.
Tana Amen: Yeah, That's interesting. We talked about my mom, how all of her hormones are low, but that's something we saw in the hospital. Of course, those were more severe head injuries, but really bad. Like, no hormones or like one hormone will just be wiped out or it was pretty crazy after a head injury.
Dr. Daniel Amen: You cannot believe the number of teenage boys I see who have low testosterone levels. [crosstalk 00:09:02]-
Tana Amen: Or breasts.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's insane.
Tana Amen: I know 'cause their hormones are messed up.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Right.
Tana Amen: So, yeah.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Okay. And then, we get to D, which is diabesity. So, high blood sugar and being overweight [crosstalk 00:09:13]-
Tana Amen: Which we talked about.
Dr. Daniel Amen: It's rampant in this country. So getting physically healthy helps you be cognitively healthy. And probably one of the most important things you can do is get eight hours of sleep at night, because sleep often becomes disrupted after having a head injury. And so, all of these things are critically important in reversing [crosstalk 00:09:39]-
Tana Amen: Now I know that sounds like a lot of [crosstalk 00:09:40]-
Dr. Daniel Amen: Concussions.
Tana Amen: Of information. I think you've laid it out so beautifully in your book, Memory Rescue.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Memory Rescue. So if you're a struggling with the effects of a concussion or you know someone who is, and there's almost a thousand scientific references in there. What I tell people, just go to the end of each chapter. There's a cool little summary.
Tana Amen: Right.
Dr. Daniel Amen: There's 10 things to do, pick one.
Tana Amen: And if you're struggling with the food, you can go to my website, you can get the Brain Warrior's Way cookbook. We make it simple, 'cause people are like, well, I don't know what to eat. That's what you eat. You eat what's in the book, you eat what we have on our websites. What we do here at the clinics is exactly what we would tell you to do. So, we actually provide a lot of those things for you that are either at no or very low cost, 'cause we know not everybody can come in.
Dr. Daniel Amen: So we hope you have enjoyed brain trauma awareness week. There's so many things you can do. I've seen so many brains that have been hurt get better.
Tana Amen: Yes.
Dr. Daniel Amen: That's what we want for you and your loved ones. Stay with this. Or, on our supplements at Thank you for listening to the brain warrior's way podcast. Go to iTunes and leave a review and you'll automatically be entered into a drawing to get a free signed copy of the Brain Warrior's Way, and the Brain Warrior's Way cookbook we give away every month.