The American Academy of Neurology defines concussion as a “trauma- induced alteration in mental status that may or may not involve a loss of consciousness”. Physical symptoms may include headache, dizziness, imbalance, nausea/vomiting, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, double or blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and sound. Emotional symptoms may include irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, mood swings, aggression, or decreased tolerance of stress. Cognitive impairments are also quite common include memory difficulty, confusion, slowed processing, “fogginess,” and difficulty with concentration. Most concussions do resolve in 7-10 days with rest. When symptoms do not resolve post concussion syndrome is diagnosed.
Difficulties exist in truly judging the full extent of the concussion for many reasons. Oftentimes lesser blows cause more symptoms where more aggressive blows cause lesser symptoms. Diagnostic imaging often shows no deficits as concussions are thought to be more on a metabolic level. Therefore recently attention has been turned to neuropsychological testing, such as Impact Testing, to assess the true extent of a concussion.
At NDBC we take a multidisciplinary approach towards concussion treatment and management. We have a TEAM of Medical Doctors, Neuro Psychologists, Neuro Radiologists, Audiologists, and Physical Therapists all specifically trained in the field of treating brain injuries and concussions.
Second Impact Syndrome can results in sudden death if there is a second concussion within two weeks of the first concussion. By comparing pre and post scores a doctor is able to determine if an athlete has returned to his or her pre-concussion baseline and therefore able to return to sport.