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Trauma — Starting 2019, a new centre at UCPH is to bring together the expertise on concussions and how they are treated. The centre is funded by the Danish government’s rate adjustment pool and will be a unit of the Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury.
Around 25,000 Danes get concussions every year – and up to 15 per cent have lasting effects – the so-called postconcussive syndrome.
Between 5 and 15 per cent of sufferers have lasting after-effects with major consequences for their working and personal life.
Frank Humle, Director, Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury
There has been a gap in the knowledge about concussions and their consequences in Denmark. This will all change with the Center for Concussion, which opens as an independent unit under the Center for the Rehabilitation of Brain Injury at the University at the beginning of 2019.
“Between 5 and 15 per cent of sufferers have lasting after-effects with major consequences for their working and personal life. It’s great that we can now provide more consistent information to everyone who gets a concussion, both in the most acute phase and in the case of any long lasting after-effects,” says Frank Humle, Director for the Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury in Copenhagen in a press release.
As the University Post recently highlighted, academics are particularly affected and are often sick for months on end.
Every year 25,000 are hit by a concussion.
Typical symptoms of a concussion are exhaustion, headache, nausea, dizziness, concentration and memory problems, visual difficulties and hypersensitivity to light and sounds.
A concussion can result in a physiological disturbance of brain function. The changes are often not visible on a scan or in a neurological examination.
In most cases, the symptoms disappear after a while, but for 5 – 15 per cent of those affected the consequences can be long-term and, for some, incapacitating.
Read more at the Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury
The political parties behind the rate adjustment pool have just agreed that the Danish Center for Concussion is to be set up with a grant of DKK 8.5 million over four years.
The new centre will be located at the Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury which has been a world leader in research into and rehabilitation of children and adults with brain damage since 1985.
At the centre they will gather the latest evidence-based research, so that the affected and their relatives are given the best possible assistance.
Until a few years ago there were only a few researchers who worked with concussion. Perhaps because the symptoms often appear to be non-specific and are very similar to the symptoms of being stressed or distressed. But fortunately this is changing.
“Today, we can measure the existence of actual changes in the brain that should be considered serious. And we can see that many of those affected today get very different – and often incorrect – advice about what to do to get better. They are usually told to isolate themselves from everything – TV, lights, computer screens and social contact. It is not wrong that you should avoid sensory bombardment, but it is wrong to not be active,” says Frank Humle.