DefinitionBy Mayo Clinic staff
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that alters the way your brain functions. Effects are usually temporary, but can include problems with headache, concentration, memory, judgment, balance and coordination.
Although concussions usually are caused by a blow to the head, they can also occur when the head and upper body are violently shaken. These injuries can cause a loss of consciousness, but most concussions do not. Because of this, some people have concussions and don't realize it.
Concussions are common, particularly if you play a contact sport, such as football. But every concussion injures your brain to some extent. This injury needs time and rest to heal properly. Luckily, most concussive traumatic brain injuries are mild, and people usually recover fully.
- Head injury. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Head-Injury.aspx. Accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
- Halstead ME, et al. Clinical report — Sport-related concussion in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2010;126:597.
- Heads up: Concussion in youth sports. A fact sheet for parents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/pdf/parents_Eng.pdf. Accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
- Traumatic brain injury. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/print/sec21/ch310/ch310a.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
- Evans RW. Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
- Lovell M. The neurophysiology and assessment of sports-related head injuries. Neurologic Clinics. 2008;26:45.
- Heegaard W, et al. Traumatic brain injury. Emergency Medicine Clinics of North America. 2007;25:655.
- Schutzman S. Minor head trauma in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed Dec. 2, 2010.
- Wetjen NM, et al. Second impact syndrome: Concussion and second injury brain complications. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2010;211:553.
- Lovell M. The management of sports-related concussion: Current status and future trends. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 2009;28:95.
- Position statement on sports concussion. American Academy of Neurology. http://www.aan.com/globals/axon/assets/7913.pdf. Accessed Jan. 10, 2010.
- McCrory P, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport: 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2008. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 2009;19:185.