Tackling the Complexities of Concussions

Specialist Leads Concussion Program, part of Capital Institute for Neurosciences

Concussion awareness, particularly in the sports world, has greatly improved in recent years. But because the signs and severity of concussion symptoms can be significantly different from one person to the next, caring for someone who has suffered a concussion requires a multifaceted approach that matches the varied nature of the condition.

Capital Health offers a comprehensive Concussion Program at its Capital Institute for Neurosciences. Dr. Emil Matarese, a board certified neurologist with experience in diagnosing and treating concussions has recently joined Capital Health as director of the program.

“I’m thrilled to work with our team of highly trained specialists to provide comprehensive concussion care, including attention to the patient’s mental status, speech, reflexes, motor functioning, balance and visual acuity,” said Dr. Matarese.

Capital Health’s Concussion Program includes a highly trained neurologist, pediatric neurologist, and neuropsychologist, specialized rehabilitation services, and collaboration with ophthalmologists for optic therapy. The program also works with the highly trained pediatric doctors and nurses at Capital Health’s Pediatric Emergency Department at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell.

Dr. Matarese is also an active partner in community health, offering workshops and educational programs to help teachers, nurses, guidance counselors, principals, school psychologists and other school staff better understand and plan for a student who is recovering from a concussion.

What is a Concussion?

A concussion is an injury to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. Concussions are frequently associated with blows to the head, but they can also occur as a result of any injury that causes the brain to move inside the skull. This movement can stretch the brain cells, causing microscopic swelling of the cells and chemical changes in the brain.

What Are the Signs?

There may be no outward physical signs of a brain injury, but call a doctor immediately if you suspect that someone may have a concussion. Look for any of the following symptoms (some may be immediate, while others may occur hours or days after the initial injury):

  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Headache
  • Memory loss/confusion/difficulty concentrating
  • Slurred speech
  • Dizziness
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Fatigue          
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Interruption in sleep patterns
  • Mood swings
  • Depression/anxiety
  • Personality changes

Meet Dr. Emil Matarese

Dr. Matarese has been a practicing neurologist in Bucks County, PA for more than 30 years. He received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of NJ (now University Hospital) in Newark, NJ and completed his residency in neurology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, NY. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and the National Board of Medical Examiners.

Dr. Matarese see patients at his Langhorne, PA office. To make an appointment, call 609.537.7300 or visit capitalneuro.org to learn more about the Concussion Program at Capital Institute for Neurosciences.

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