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Concussion Information

Concussion is a term describing an injury to the brain.

Popular terms used to describe a concussion include a bruise to the brain, a ding, seeing stars, being dazed or confused, having your bell rung, being knocked out, being shaken up, having ants crawling in your head, a bump, blow or jolt to the head or simply a head injury.

The American Academy of Brain Injury Attorneys believes that all concussions must be taken seriously.  We understand that a concussion is a brain injury with potential life long consequences.  Our brain injury lawyers understand that the consequences of a concussion can affect your work, your school work, your every day activities, your social relationships and can cause many different physical problems.

How do I know if I had a concussion?

Diagram of brain movement

Concussions are sometimes referred to as the “invisible injury” because you can’t see a concussion.  A person may look fine following a concussion and may even feel fine.  Many concussion symptoms may not show up for days or weeks.

You can sustain a concussion without hitting your head or striking your head.  Movement of the brain within the skull is sufficient to cause the brain to be concussed.

Even neurological studies such as CT scans or MRI scans cannot determine if you had a concussion since the damage to the brain frequently cannot be visualized using this technology.

It is important to know that you do not need to be knocked out or become unconscious to be diagnosed as having a concussion.

Common Symptoms of a concussion

Concussion

Coup and Contra Coup Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headache
  • Double vision or visual disturbance
  • Trouble with bright light or loud noise
  • Feeling sluggish
  • Feeling foggy or groggy
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Memory difficulties
  • Feeling dazed or confused
  • Ringing in ears
  • Difficulty processing information
  • Feeling like your head is spinning

Definition of concussion

Here is the official definition of concussion from the Centers for Disease Control:

“The term mild traumatic brain injury MTBI) is used interchangeably with the term concussion.  An MTBI or concussion is defined as a complex patho-physiologic process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces secondary to direct or indirect forces to the head.  MTBI is caused by a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the function of the brain.  This disturbance of brain function is typically associated with normal structural neuroimaging findings (i.e., CT scan, MRI).  MTBI results in a constellation of physical, cognitive, emotional and/or sleep-related symptoms and may or may not involve loss of consciousness.  Duration of symptoms is highly variable any last from several minutes to days, weeks, months, or even longer in some cases.”  [taken from CDC Physicians ToolKit: Facts for Physicians About Mild Traumatic Brain Injury: 2007]

Concussion symptom checklist

A concussion can cause physical symptoms, cognitive symptoms, behavioral symptoms and emotional symptoms.

An individual need not have sustained all of the symptoms or symptoms in each of the categories in order to determine that he/she sustained a concussion.  In fact, many of the signs and symptoms of concussions takes days or weeks to develop.   Some concussion symptoms may happen immediately, some may appear and some may disappear over time.

Physical symptoms of a concussion

Shana De Caro, Treasurer of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, presents Susan Connors, Executive Director of the Brain Association of America, with 2010 brain injury prevention and education, endowment donation.

Shana De Caro, Treasurer of the American Association for Justice, Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, presents Susan Connors, Executive Director of the Brain Association of America, with 2010 brain injury prevention and education, endowment donation.

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Visual problems
  • Balance problems
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Numbness/Tingling
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness

Cognitive symptoms of a concussion

  • Feeling mentally foggy
  • Problems concentrating
  • Problems remembering
  • Feeling more slowed down

Emotional symptoms of a concussion

  • Irritability
  • Sadness
  • Feeling more emotional
  • Nervousness

Sleep symptoms of a concussion

  • Drowsiness
  • Sleeping more than usual
  • Sleeping less than usual
  • Trouble falling asleep

POST CONCUSSION SYNDROME

When the symptoms of a concussion do not resolve in days or weeks but continue to persist for longer periods of time, even years, this is called, post concussion syndrome.

Medical science does not yet have an answer as to why some individuals have a quick and complete recovery from a concussion and why some individuals go on to experience the post concussion syndrome.

Long term consequences of post concussion syndrome

The Post concussion syndrome can have disastrous consequences for an individual and his/her family members.  In addition to the physical, cognitive, emotional and behavioral consequences of a concussion, when the symptoms persist for extended periods of time, this can cause individuals to lose their jobs, can cause educational problems for children, may cause marital problems, can lead to anxiety, depression and other mental illness.

Post concussion syndrome treatment

There is no definitive treatment for post concussion syndrome.

Patients who experience post concussion syndrome symptoms need to be evaluated by a team of brain injury rehabilitation professionals including a neurologist, neuropsychologist and brain injury rehabilitation professional to determine the extent of the problem and devise an effective strategy for the individual and the family.

Frequent treatments include psychological counseling and emotional support, teaching strategies to the individual to overcome his/her deficits and retraining to be able to function in society.

Legal Representation for Concussions and Post Concussion Syndrome

Whether your concussion and post concussion syndrome was caused by a motor vehicle accident, truck accident, fall, assault or being struck in the head, the brain injury attorneys who are members of the Academy of Brain Injury Attorneys have the knowledge and experience to assist you and obtain for your family and yourself the compensation that justice requires.