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What is a Concussion?

A concussion is a mild brain injury that can affect normal brain function. It may happen due to direct impact to the head or from sudden jerking movements of the head. A concussion can result in an altered mental state or the individual becoming unconscious.

Symptoms of Concussion

The general symptoms of concussion are:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Tiredness
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Vision problems
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Depressive mood
  • Nervousness and anxious
  • Memory loss
  • Temporary unconsciousness (for about a minute)
  • Sensitivity to bright light and noise
  • Loss of balance

Symptoms that require immediate medical intervention include:

  • Severe headache
  • Seizures
  • Blood discharge from the ears
  • Being unconscious for more than a minute
  • Difficulty waking from sleep

Causes of a Concussion

Some of the common causes for concussions are:

  • Motor vehicle accident
  • Falls, bicycle accidents
  • A contact sport injury
  • Head hit by an object
  • Violently shaking the head

Diagnosis of a Concussion

To determine the impact of the injury, your doctor may ask questions about the incident, perform a thorough physical examination, neurological examination, cognition tests, and imaging studies.

Neurological examination includes testing of 

  • Eye movement
  • Reflexes
  • Hearing
  • Vision
  • Strength
  • Balance

Cognitive testing includes testing of 

  • Memory
  • Concentration
  • Learning ability
  • Thinking ability
  • Processing of information

Diagnostic imaging tests include

These imaging methods can help identify brain injuries such as swelling, damage, rupture of blood vessels, and altered brain functionality.

  • CT Scan (computerized tomography): This is a computerized X-ray study that provides different angles of cross-section brain images, which helps determine extent of the injury.
  • EEG (electroencephalogram): This imaging study helps analyze the electrical activity in the brain and brain functionality.
  • EMG (electromyogram): This diagnostic procedure helps determine the brain & nerve health.
  • MRI scan: This scan uses radiation to capture the detailed brain images. 
  • X-rays: These help to determine fractures and injury of the cranium.

Treatment and Recovery

  • Your doctor may instruct you to have plenty of rest and avoid vigorous physical activities or mental activities that require a lot of concentration, memorization, and thinking. 
  • Your doctor can prescribe the necessary medications to recover from a concussion.
  • Rehabilitations therapy such as balance training, visual exercises, speech therapy, and physical exercises may be recommended.
  • In some cases, if there is skull or brain damage, surgery may be performed, but most concussions do not require surgery.


The preventive measures to prevent  concussions include

  • Follow safety measures such as wearing seatbelts while driving 
  • Use protective gear such as helmets and padding when playing sports
  • Exercise regularly, but avoid overexertion
Location & Directions Neurology Specialist in Houston, TX