Concussions: Not Just a Bump on the Head

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I lost a day of my life. When I was in grade school, I fell at recess and lost my memory of that day. I could not remember what day it was, or even where I was. When my mom picked me up from school, I became really sick and was continually asking the same questions over and over again such as, what time is it and where am I. As many time as she told me I could not retain any of the information. I did not even remember going to the hospital to get a CT scan done of my head. The simple fact was that I had a concussion. “Every 21 seconds, one person in the United States experiences a traumatic brain injury…. However, of the 1.5 million Americans who sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, 75% of the injuries are concussions or other minor head injuries.”1 With the rise of concussions finally being recognized, the scare of permanent affects is now relevant. The following will discuss the signs, symptoms, treatment and assessment ability by diagnostic research in the field of the most common traumatic brain injury, the concussion.

According to a commonly accepted definition of a concussion is “a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the function of the brain.”2 A concussion could be a result from falling, contact sports or even extreme shaking of a person’s head or body. When a concussion occurs, the brain is tossed back and forth in the interior walls of the skull. (Figure A)8 The pathways of nerves and functionality of the brain are then disrupted causing changes in how a person thinks, acts, or feels. The severity of a person’s brain injury is related to the intensity of the fall or blow to the person’s head. The unknown aspect of these traumatic brain injuries lies within the simple fact that no head injury is ...

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...d Brain Scanning Technique Reveals the Potentially Long-Lasting Effects of Concussions. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.

May 10, 2011. June 24, 2011. October 22, 2013.

6. Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. Concussion Information. Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association. Last updated May 2013. October 24, 2013.

7. Paula Jones. VUMC concussion expert says ‘When in doubt, sit them out’. Vanderbilt University Medical Center. August 13, 2013. October 24, 2013.

8. Synapstix. Rebound. (concussion head bang image). October 24, 2013.

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