What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a transient period of vulnerability that leads to a loss of homeostasis in the brain, which produces a temporary loss of brain function.
Estimate recovery times can vary greatly for each person, but younger individuals are more commonly seen to have delayed resolution of symptoms.
- Youth 12 y/o → 3+ months
- Teen 13-18 y/o → 4-6 weeks
- Adult 18+ y/o → 2-4 weeks
Short Term Effects:
Risk of 2nd impact syndrome, which can result in the death of an athlete after a second concussive head trauma during the period of vulnerability after the first concussion. There are also many symptoms, which are categorized into one or a few of the four categories: physical. emotional, cognitive, and/or sleep.
Long Term Effects:
Long term effects from a concussion are possible and can be diagnosed as CNI (chronic neuro-cognitive impairment) by a neurophysiologist. Currently, there are no laboratory tests or objective measures that can diagnose a concussion or predict their future symptoms.
The long term effects of minor repetitive forces to the head trauma can result with CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy), which resembles Alzheimer’s Disease. Both are identified by an increased amount of tau protein in certain regions of the brain.
3 Test Athletes Should Pass to Ensure a Safe Return to Sport:
- No symptoms (physical, emotional, etc)
- Pass Physical Exam (VOMS & balance)
- Pass Neuro-cognitive test (Impact, King Devick, SCAT-3)