Sports medicine & Kinesiology

Football-loving states slow to enact youth concussion laws

States with college teams in strong conferences, in particular the Southeastern Conference (SEC), were among the last to take up regulations on youth concussions, according to a recent study. The study, which investigated ...

Neuroscience

Symptoms evolve during five years after combat concussion

(HealthDay)—Service members with concussions have symptoms that continue to evolve for five years following the injury, with varying courses of recovery, according to a study published online Nov. 11 in Neurology.

Sports medicine & Kinesiology

Study confirms spit testing may help doctors diagnose concussions

Doctors may soon be able to more accurately diagnose concussions by measuring the number of certain molecules in a person's saliva, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. The results of a recent clinical ...

Concussion

Concussion, from the Latin concutere ("to shake violently") or the Latin concussus ("action of striking together"), is the most common type of traumatic brain injury. The terms mild brain injury, mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), mild head injury (MHI), and minor head trauma and concussion may be used interchangeably, although the latter is often treated as a narrower category. The term 'concussion' has been used for centuries and is still commonly used in sports medicine, while 'MTBI' is a technical term used more commonly nowadays in general medical contexts. Frequently defined as a head injury with a transient loss of brain function, concussion can cause a variety of physical, cognitive, and emotional symptoms.

Treatment of concussion involves monitoring and rest. Symptoms usually go away entirely within three weeks, though they may persist, or complications may occur. Repeated concussions can cause cumulative brain damage such as dementia pugilistica or severe complications such as second-impact syndrome.

Due to factors such as widely varying definitions and possible underreporting of concussion, the rate at which it occurs annually is not known; however it may be more than 6 per 1,000 people. Common causes include sports injuries, bicycle accidents, car accidents, and falls; the latter two are the most frequent causes among adults. Concussion may be caused by a blow to the head, or by acceleration forces without a direct impact. The forces involved disrupt cellular processes in the brain for days or weeks.

It is not known whether the concussed brain is structurally damaged the way it is in other types of brain injury (albeit to a lesser extent) or whether concussion mainly entails a loss of function with physiological but not structural changes. Cellular damage has reportedly been found in concussed brains, but it may have been due to artifacts from the studies. A debate about whether structural damage exists in concussion has raged for centuries and is ongoing.

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