Concussions

An injury to the brain that makes it less functional

Systems Affeccted

The Brain and Nervous System:

The brain controls thoughts and movements, and carries messages through the nervous system back and forth.


How the brain works normally:

  • Controls your body

  • Sends messages to other parts of your body through the nervous system

How the brain works differently with a concussion:

  • Can’t send messages as well (if at all)

  • Affects how well the balance system works, causing trouble doing everyday tasks

  • Difficulty remembering simple things, such as your name or where you live

Target Population

  • Anybody can get a concussion
  • Athletes are likely to get concussions
  • You are more prone to concussions if you've had one before
  • About 1,360,000 concussions happen per year
  • Male football players have a 75% chance of getting a concussion (according to ESPN)

Onset

  • Occurs when the brain moves around inside of the skull

  • Often happens because of a hit to the head, but it could happen without a direct hit to the head

  • Could also happen if you are moving very fast, then suddenly stop, causing the brain to move inside of the skull

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Signs/Symptoms

Symptoms Include:

memory problems, confusion, headaches, feeling “foggy”, dizziness, balance problems, sensitivity to light or sound, feeling over-emotional or extremely irritable, blurred vision, nausea/motion Sickness, disorientation, fatigue/exhaustion

Diagnosis

It is very difficult to know whether or not someone has a concussion.

Possible ways to determine if someone has a concussion are.

  • Balance tests

  • CT Scan or MRI of the brain
  • Reporting of symptoms
  • Signs may not show up for a while; may be hard to notice
Explain it to me: Concussions

Treatment

  • Brain rest (don't do anything that requires concentration, such as reading, watching TV, or doing school work)
  • it helps to gradually increase your activity
  • Some people say that brain rest doesn't work as well as people think it does, and it may actually be harmful
  • If during your return any symptoms recur, stop all activity and go back to brain rest
  • Treating certain symptoms, such as headaches or nausea, is possible to some degree
  • Typical recovery time will be 5-10 days, but it could be shorter or much longer

Prognosis

  • A single concussion will not have an effect on life expectancy, unless it was an extremely severe concussion

  • Multiple concussions can lead to permanent brain damage, or CTE (CTE is a brain disorder that takes effect slowly and could kill some people)

  • Having multiple concussions in a short period of time can be fatal, which is why it is so strongly recommended to avoid all physical activity if you have a concussion

Connections

Reasons I chose this topic:
  • I've had a concussion so I wanted to learn more about it
  • Concussions was that concussions have been a controversy in the NFL recently, and I like to follow sports news
  • Many people in my family have also had concussions


Famous people who've had concussions include Junior Seau, Mike Webster, Sidney Crosby, James Harden, Brett Favre, and many other athletes.