Medical Entry: Concussions

(bumped from FanPosts. --eric)

David Wright’s recent injury (and of course Ryan Church’s debacle) put us Met’s fan front and center when it comes to sports related concussions. I thought I’d write a little bit about concussions.

Mild traumatic brain injurty (mild TBI) is often used to describe concussions by medical personal. According to neurologists, concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces. Its approximated that over 1 million people get concussions every year.

What actually happens in a concussion is the complex neuro network in our brains gets disrupted, either from swelling, direct shearing or even from free radicals generated after the injury (drink your antioxidants).

The symptoms are well known and include confusion, amnesia, headache, dizziness, ear ringing, vomiting, and slurred speech. Some symptoms only appear a little bit later, such as memory or concentration problems, sensitivity to light and noise, sleep disturbances, irritability and depression.

Some physicians will also evaluate something called the standardized assessment of concussion score. This takes into account orientation to place, immediate memory, concentration, delayed memory recall and actually a simple physical strength test. Using this score, physicians determine when patients can go back to play.

One major problem with concussion (again, as we found out with Church) is that there are significant sequelae that develop. These include (taken from UpToDate):

Postconcussion syndrome — These include headache, dizziness, neuropsychiatric symptoms, and cognitive impairment. These typically develop in the first days after mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) and generally resolve within a few weeks to a few months

Post-traumatic headaches — Headaches occur in 25 to 78 of patients after mild Headaches may represent a specific injury to the head or neck, may be nonspecific in character, and may have a symptom pattern indistinguishable from other nontraumatic headache syndromes such as migraine and tension headache

Post-traumatic epilepsy — Mild TBI is associated with a twofold increase in the risk of epilepsy for the first five years after injury. Prophylactic treatment with anticonvulsants does not prevent post-traumatic epilepsy and is not recommended

Post-traumatic vertigo is a substantial contributor to disability after mild TBI.

Certainly hope that David doesn’t have any of the above symptoms lasting for a while…unfortunately only time will tell.

This FanPost was contributed by a member of the community and was not subject to any vetting or approval process. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions, reasoning skills, or attention to grammar and usage rules held by the editors of this site.

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