What is concussion?
Concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that temporarily affects brain's function.
Concussion occurs after a blow or jolt or any other injury to your head. Effects can last for a couple of days and you might have headaches balance and concentration problems.
What happens to the brain after a concussion?
The brain is surrounded by fluid and three protective membranes called meninges (pia matter, arachnoid and dura matter). The role of the meninges is to cover the brain and the spinal cord and they filled with fluid that cushions the brain.
During an impact, different parts of the brain can move very fast and that can damage nerve tissues. The balance of ions and chemicals is altered in the brain and that can impair nerve cell function and contributes to the loss of consciousness.
Some nerve fibres can recover fast but with some more severe head injuries nerve fibres can be permanently lose their ability to send signals and communicate with other brains cells.
After a concussion activity in the cellular level is disrupted leading to a loss of potassium ions and influx of calcium ions. Blood flow to the site of the injury is also reduced which hinders the delivery of oxygen , glucose and nutrients needed for recovery.
Causes of concussion
Concussions can be caused by direct trauma to the head, such as falling, getting hit to the head or being in an accident.
Concussions can be caused from a very quick acceleration - deceleration of the head known as whiplash (involved in a road traffic accident)
Blast waves can also cause concussions without an actual direct trauma to the head. Direct or indirect exposure to an explosion is enough to induce traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms of concussion
Physical signs and symptoms of a concussion may include:
Headache and pressure in your head
Vomiting and nausea
Bothered by noise and lights
Feeling sluggish and not energetic
Amnesia - related to the event
Delayed responses and reactions
Diagnosing concussion and why it should not left untreated
Our highly specialised team will evaluate you thoroughly to give you an accurate diagnosis. If your injury looks serious we might ask for further investigation like an MRI scan or CT scan to make sure there is no internal bleeding.
We may also request an electroencephalogram (EEG) to look at your brainwaves, a videonystagmography (VNG) to look at inner ear/balance function, and a transcranial doppler (TCD) ultrasound to evaluate blood flow in the brain.
If concussion is left untreated can lead to serious long term health problems that range from physical difficulties to emotional and mental issues. If you ignore your symptoms you condition will get worse.