A concussion is an injury to the brain caused by a blow to the head, or by hitting the head on another object. It may result in loss of consciousness or confusion. It may also cause amnesia (loss of memory) about the event related to the concussion as well as time before or after.
Sudden movement of the brain in the skull can injure the brain. Most concussions result from motor vehicle accidents, industrial accidents, contact sports (such as football and hockey), falls, and physical attacks.
Symptoms include temporary unconsciousness, short-term amnesia, dizziness, headache, confusion, mild lack of coordination, nausea, vomiting, and being unable to concentrate. Symptoms usually last for hours to several days.
The health care provider makes a diagnosis from a detailed neurological examination and history of loss of consciousness, amnesia, or confusion after a blow to the head. The health care provider may order computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain to rule out a brain hemorrhage, but these tests usually show normal findings
Treatment consists of rest and careful observation, usually at home. First symptoms of a concussion mimic those of a head injury with bleeding into the brain. If symptoms get worse or don’t improve, swelling or bleeding inside the skull needs to be ruled out by your physician with additional tests.
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