Friday, November 18, 2011

Concussion and long term effects

Concussions are one of the most serious injuries that are effecting athletes today.  In all level of competitions more than one million concussions are given out each year.  The level of the concussions can vary as well as the amount of time it takes to heal between concussion.  However, the effects of a concussion can last several months and possibly even into adult hood.

A concussion is define as traumatic brain injury.  A concussion is caused by the brain moving after contact and crashing into the skull.  Here is a video explaining.  Every concussion can have different temporary effects on the individual like head ace, lost of memory, ext.  The picture on the right shows the different area  of the brain that are effected during the injury.  Doctors can use EEG, Head CT, and MRI to see the severity of the concussion.  Cuncussions are graded by how bad they are.  There are 6 grades.   Grade 1 Confusion-Normal consciousness without amnesia. Grade 2-  Confusion- with Post-Traumatic Amnesia. Grade 3  Confusion-with PTA and retrograde amnesia.  Grade 4  Coma-Loss of consciousnes Grade 5   Coma-Persistent vegetative state Grade 6  Coma-Death

Although the short term effects are cause for concern the things that doctors are most worried about are the long term effects that a concussion can cause.  Post-Concussion Syndrome or PCS can last up to weeks, months or even years after the initial injury.  With these long lasting effect it is unknown how the effects will effect your life.  The fear is that PCS could cause you physical harm because you are unable to react fast enough in everyday life; like driving a car or falling at work.  PCS symptoms usually show up in ten days after the initial incident.  Symptoms of this can be found here.  It is believed that if not treated properly serious mental problem can occur.  Examples of these are Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

With more and more studies coming out showing the danger of concussions teams and doctor everywhere are stepping up to help protect the athletes.  For starters everyone has to take a concussion test at least once when they are starting a sport.  This test is long and thorough testing not only the athletes short term memory but there reflexes too.  The score on this test is saved during the duration of that players stay.  What they do with that information is if you have a concussion you are not aloud to play or practice again until you score as good or better on that same test.  Another way they are protecting that athletes in football is with their head gear.  We have since evolved since the time of the leather helmet.  Each year better helmets come out that protected the players brain more and more.  Also, with the invention of neck pads that are put of the shoulder pads help prevent the neck from snapping back to far.   


  1. I thought that this topic was really interesting. I especially liked the video describing how a concussion occurs. Also, I think it is neat that they are having concussion tests before an athlete starts a sport. I did not know that they did that!

  2. I too thought this topic was very interesting. I had no idea that on average one million concussions are given out each year; that just seems like an incredibly large amount. I also think it is interesting how athletes are taking concussion tests when they are starting the sport.