concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or body, a fall, or another injury that jars or shakes the brain inside the skull. Although there may be cuts or bruises on the head or face, there may be no other visible signs of a brain injury.
You don't have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion. Some people will have obvious
symptoms of a concussion, such as passing out or forgetting what happened right before the injury. But other people won't. With rest, most people fully recover from a concussion. Some people recover within a few hours. Other people take a few weeks to recover.
John Jerome's spinal cord shines white beneath the surgeons' headlamps, crisscrossed by a web of bright-red blood vessels. He's been on the operating table for more than four hours.
Above the fist-sized opening in his neck hangs a complex steel contraption. It's fixed in place by four posts: two wedged into Jerome's skull and two more in the vertebrae below the surgical wound. Invented by Emory neurosurgeon Nick Boulis, MD, it serves a single purpose: To hold steady the thin needle plunged into...
It's important to know that after a concussion the brain is more sensitive to damage. So while you are recovering, be sure to avoid activities that might injure you again.
In rare cases, concussions cause
more serious problems. Repeated concussions or a severe concussion may lead to long-lasting problems with movement, learning, or speaking.
Because of the small chance of serious problems, it is important to
contact a doctor if you or someone you know has symptoms of a concussion.
What causes a concussion?
Your brain is a soft organ that is surrounded by spinal fluid and
protected by your hard skull. Normally, the fluid around your brain acts like a
cushion that keeps your brain from banging into your skull. But if your head or
your body is hit hard, your brain can crash into your
skull and be injured.
There are many ways
to get a concussion. Some common ways include fights, falls, playground
injuries, car crashes, and bike accidents. Concussions can also happen while
participating in any sport or activity such as football, boxing, hockey,
soccer, skiing, or snowboarding.
What are the symptoms?
It is not always easy to know if someone has a
concussion. You don't have to pass out (lose consciousness) to have a concussion.
of a concussion range from mild to severe and can last for hours, days, weeks,
or even months. If you notice any symptoms of a concussion, contact your
Symptoms of a concussion fit into four main categories:
Thinking and remembering
Not thinking clearly
Feeling slowed down
Not being able to concentrate
Not being able to remember new information
Nausea and vomiting
Fuzzy or blurry vision
Sensitivity to light or noise
Feeling tired or having no energy
Emotional and mood
Easily upset or angered
Nervous or anxious
Sleeping more than usual
Sleeping less than usual
Having a hard time falling asleep
Young children can have the same symptoms of a concussion as older children and adults. But sometimes it can be hard to tell if a small child has a
concussion. Young children may also have symptoms like:
Crying more than usual.
Headache that does not go away.
Changes in the way they play or act.
Changes in the way they nurse, eat, or sleep.
Being upset easily or having more temper tantrums.
A sad mood.
Lack of interest in their usual activities or favorite toys.