Concussion

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PUBLIC PAGE
Dec 10, 2018

Defining Concussions

By Lee Brush, @lrbrush

2018-11-08-Brain

A concussion is a traumatic brain injury caused by mechanical forces to the body or head that transmits to the brain. Effects are usually temporary but can include headaches and problems with concentration, memory, balance and coordination. Some concussions cause you to lose consciousness, but 90% do not.  It is important to identify concussions and provide your brain the proper time to heal.

Thank you for posting this Lee! An excellent and authoritative general discussion of this type of brain injury.

COMMENT

Thanks for this section. I’d like to ask a few questions: 1 are TV and movie portrayals of what happens are getting knocked out mostly inaccurate? It’s the portrayal of amnesia that I think may be over dramatized and more than likely misleading. What is “ amnesia “? is it a consequence of head trauma or a condition that can occur for other reasons. It does seem a like like a type of temporary Alzheimer’s. Does it happen that way; memory lose that is?

I also noticed that in the definition it says: “ mechanical force to the body or head.

Is it possible to get a concussion from STRESS?
If stress triggers memory loss and headaches, what might it be called if not a conclusion?

COMMENT
@stuckonu

Thanks for this section. I’d like to ask a few questions: 1 are TV and movie portrayals of what happens are getting knocked out mostly inaccurate? It’s the portrayal of amnesia that I think may be over dramatized and more than likely misleading. What is “ amnesia “? is it a consequence of head trauma or a condition that can occur for other reasons. It does seem a like like a type of temporary Alzheimer’s. Does it happen that way; memory lose that is?

I also noticed that in the definition it says: “ mechanical force to the body or head.

Is it possible to get a concussion from STRESS?
If stress triggers memory loss and headaches, what might it be called if not a conclusion?

Jump to this post

Amnesia is typically a total or near total loss of memory, not just “memory problems” or poor memory. Amnesia caused by concussion is typically a brief loss of memory for events immediately surrounding the impact. For example, a football player who sustains a concussion associated with a hard hit may not recall the hit or walking to the sidelines. Concussions can occur without a loss of consciousness or significant amnesia. There are other conditions that may cause amnesia as well.

There are many reasons a person may have poor memory, memory concerns, or headache. It is not possible to get a concussion from stress, but stress can be a contributor to headaches and memory errors. If you are experiencing headaches or memory problems, I would consult with a physician to help determine what may be contributing to these.

COMMENT

I had a severe traumatic brain injury and I don’t remember the details immediately before my accident (and two week coma).
Regarding concussions, what type of question or test would you recommend to determine if amnesia is a symptom? Thank you.

COMMENT

I apologize for the delay…Amnesia surrounding the event or injury is a common finding in traumatic brain injury. The length of post-traumatic amnesia (PTA), or the period of time after an injury during which the individual is typically confused and unable to form new memories, is an indicator of the severity of the brain injury. Concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury, so amnesia following concussion is typically very brief, if it is present at all. For a severe traumatic brain injury, the length of PTA is typically much longer, often weeks. As you describe, in severe TBI, there is often a period immediately before the injury that the individual does not recall as well.

There is no blood or physiologic test for amnesia. Rather, amnesia is determined by asking questions of the individual to determine the period of time before or after the injury during which they were unable to form new memories.

COMMENT
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