Case Study: Post-Concussion Syndrome ( Jackie’s Story )

At the time of presentation to APEX Brain centers in Asheville, NC in late 2015, Jackie was a 55-year-old, soon-to-be-retiring professional female. Post-concussive symptoms of debilitating headaches, memory loss, learning, and behavioral issues, fluctuations in heart rate, and difficulty handling visual stimulation such as driving, busy public places, and computer screens were preventing her from leading a normal life. Before traveling to APEX from Charlotte, NC, Jackie had sought care from several different doctors in her area. Vestibular therapy and chiropractic care had given her some relief of symptoms, although her other experiences were not so positive. At one point a provider told her that she was mentally ill. I didn’t have any of these symptoms before I had the injury and I am not making them up”. This is the unfortunate reality of many who suffer from brain injury.

Intervention for balance and cognitive decline

Jackie underwent comprehensive Brain Training at a frequency of 3 times per day over 15 days (each week for much-needed). Her brain function was carefully monitoring throughout the training process with measurement of EEG brainwaves, vital signs, eye movements, balance, mental and physical timing, and more to ensure she was receiving the proper amount of therapy to be effective without exceeding fatigue limits that could potentially promote worsening of her symptoms. Modalities implemented included but were not limited to neurofeedback, Interactive Metronome, vestibular rehabilitation, metabolic/nutritional therapies, eye movement, and neurological rehabilitation, electrical stimulation, breathing exercises, and home care therapies.

Outcomes after Brain Training

Jackie reported before brain training that she would have a constant headache of 6 on a 0-10 scale pain. The week after her program she reported the headaches were finally manageable at a level of 3-4 of 10 escalate. Jackie has had continued success and reported at 3 weeks after her program that she is headache-free unless she spends too much time in front of a screen or a busy public place. She also reports that when this occurs, her ‘at at home’ brain exercises will relieve them. Aside from headaches, Jackie has reported that she no longer feels like she is in a constant brain fog. Her heart rate has also normalized and no longer fluctuates or spikes.

Actual, measurable objective improvements recorded with post-intensive diagnostic testing include:

  • Cognitive Testing: Jackie showed an increase in her Neurocognition Index of 11%. This is a standardized overall score of cognitive performance. Significant improvements in specific areas of memory (one of her biggest concerns) are as follows: 65% in composite memory.
  • Interactive Metronome: 56% improvement in motor timing accuracy and normalization of hyper-anticipatory timing tendency with motor tasks (i.e. premature response to a specified reference tone).
  • Videonystagmography (VNG): Significant improvements in numerous aspects of oculomotor (eye movement) functionality including gaze holding, slow and fast eye movements, optokinetic responses, and spontaneous/involuntary eye movements.

Implications for others:

Diagnostic and functional tests can be used to direct an effective Brain Training program and improve post-concussion symptoms. Increased sensory and environmental sensitivities are common symptoms of post-concussion syndrome. There are several areas of your brain that process information from your environment and your body. Most cases of concussion are given a thorough investigation and functional interventions addressing the physical, cognitive, metabolic, and brain health.

If you or someone you care about is experiencing ANY of these symptoms, or anything out of the ordinary related to a head or brain injury, call APEX Brain Centers now at 828.708.5274. You may also email us at for more information and to set up a free consultation.

Dr. Michael S. Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Neurofeedback Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the practice of advanced functional neurology. He is one of the most highly sought-after brain rehabilitation specialists because of the life-changing outcomes his patients consistently experience. After over a decade in private practice and working alongside other pioneers in the field, Dr. Trayford developed his multimodal intensive brain training and rehabilitation program built around the science of Neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to learn and grow dependent upon the stimulation it receives from its environment. He later founded APEX Brain Centers to combine his ground-breaking rehabilitation approach with a unique patient and caretaker-centered care model. Under Dr. Trayford’s leadership, APEX Brain Centers has successfully treated thousands of patients and earned the reputation of a world-renowned brain training and rehabilitation practice. Since its inception, Dr. Trayford has been a leader of the Brain Training revolution treating patients worldwide. In addition, he is a published journal contributor and international lecturer. His experience with various patients of all ages and neurological conditions has given him a unique perspective on brain health and human performance. He is also well-versed in collaborating with other health care professionals, making him an invaluable asset to any care team. Dr. Trayford was awarded the Functional Neurologist of the Year distinction by the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation, where he is a proud member and conference lecturer. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Council for the Dementia Society of America and the Board of Directors for the International Society for Neuroregulation and Research. He is also a servant leader who has dedicated his adult life to serving multiple communities through Rotary International and other notable causes. When he’s not treating patients, Dr. Trayford usually reads or researches anything related to the brain, human performance, and leadership. He also loves spending time outdoors with his wife Denise, their two daughters, and dogs in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina.


  1. Marilyn F Hughes on September 7, 2019 at 2:50 pm

    Addendum to previous post: I forgot to mention a recent DTI MRI study confirmed my diffuse axonal injury and several other abnormalities.

    thank you.

  2. Marilyn F Hughes on September 7, 2019 at 2:48 pm

    I just learned that I have Diffuse Axonal Injury from a moderate concussion due to head trauma in a fall 4 YEARS AGO. My psychiatrist thinks i’ll be fine as he has seen me improve over the past three years, albeit very slowly, and he didn’t know about my DAI from TBI until a couple weeks ago. He and I know most of that is due to neuroplasticity alone without any direct rehabilitation services. He doesn’t have my brain inside of him, so I am not sure he is fully cognizant of my brain challenges. Coincidently,. I am moving from Florida to Asheville within a month and I am looking for resources to truly jump start my cognitive rehabilitation. Is any part or all of you services covered by Medicare?

    Thank you for your response.


    • admin on September 7, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      Hello Marilyn:

      Sorry to hear of your struggles, although there is much that can be done diagnostically and therapeutically; even years after the fact.

      As far as resources, this is what we do every day. We focus on the physical, cognitive and metabolic aspects of brain health and rehabilitation with TBI/Post-concussion syndrome being approximately 50% of what we see.

      Regarding Medicare, you’d unfortunately be hard pressed to find anyone providing combined, immersive services of this nature that are covered by medicare this long after injury. That said, we do have programs in place to assist those with Medicare/Medicaid to help with the financial aspects of recovery. Best to call the office Monday morning at 828.708.5274 to learn more.

      Take care and best wishes on your relocation.

  3. J L Burnett on August 28, 2019 at 12:54 am

    Question: is this another name for a TBI from a rear end car collision? I’m wondering if they are the same thing.

    • admin on August 28, 2019 at 12:10 pm

      TBI from a rear-end collision (whether whiplash, direct head trauma, or both) would generally fall into the concussion realm; unless there is penetrating/open head injury, diffuse axonal injury, etc. These injuries are most often classified as mild TBI (mTBI); although in many cases there is nothing mild about the outcomes/symptoms. Please call us at 828.708.5274 if you have any further questions.

  4. MARY ELLEN JOHNSON on March 12, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Sure wish this was in my area….I had to loose my job before people took me seriously about my symptoms. Had to search these individual modalities out on my own and piece it together……problem is NO INSURANCE COVERAGE. So, now you have an injured person, no income and state insurance that offers no treatment. This would have me only become more and more disabled not better!!

    • admin on March 12, 2019 at 8:58 pm

      Thank you for sharing, Mary Ellen. Glad to hear you were able to piece things together and get what you needed. It is a shame that most insurance-based entities do not recognize anything beyond the ‘wait and see’ approach when so many therapies have been proven effective for most of the challenges related to concussion and post-concussion syndrome. All the best to you!

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