TBI - Concussions

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Topic Contributors

  • Brain Injury Association of Illinois

  • Rush University Medical Center

  • Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

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TBI and Concussion Information

Traumatic brain injuries and concussions are a serious health problem in the United States. Each year, about 2.5 million traumatic brain injuries occur and about 175,000 young people are treated in hospital emergency departments for sports-related brain injuries, including concussion.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a traumatic brain injury is caused by a fall or blow to the head or body that disrupts the brain’s normal functioning. A concussion is a kind of traumatic brain injury. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can be mild (as in the case of most concussions), moderate, or severe and life altering, depending on the extent of the damage to the brain.

When it comes to concussion symptoms, it is important to remember that a person does not need to lose consciousness to have a concussion, and symptoms of concussion can be subtle and hard to spot. However, it is important to be on the lookout for concussion symptoms and make sure a person is symptom-free before returning to regular activities because suffering a second concussion before the brain has fully healed can lead to serious, permanent brain damage.

Anyone with a suspected concussion or traumatic brain injury should be evaluated by a healthcare professional. A doctor can provide an individualized treatment plan, based on the severity of the injury; but anyone who has suffered a concussion should plan on extra rest—physical rest and mental rest, as rest allows the brain to heal following an injury.

This TBI and Concussion topic includes information, videos and resources to help you understand traumatic brain injury and concussion and how to manage concussion symptoms.

Experiencing a brain injury or concussion can be frightening, but learning how to recognize signs of concussion and traumatic brain injury, and understanding when to seek medical attention can mean the difference between recovery and permanent brain damage.