A Search For A Cure
Research, Scientific Breakthroughs, & Caregiver Tips
How Does A Concussion Progress?
The significant danger of concussions is the severe, lasting, and sometimes fatal damage that can be done by repeated concussions or a head injury suffered when the patient is still recovering from a prior concussion. When these recurrent injuries happen, the results can be deadly.
Post-concussion syndrome (PCS) occurs in about 15% of people who suffer concussions. Symptoms of this syndrome can continue for weeks or months after the initial injury, and a diagnosis is usually made when symptoms last longer than three months after the injury.
- Light or noise sensitivity
- Sleep disruption
- Ringing ears
- Anxiety or depression
- Mood swings
- Memory problems
- Concentration problems
- Cognition problems
Patients suffering from PCS should avoid sports or activities that bring an increased danger of further injury.
Second-impact syndrome (SIS) is a severe, often fatal condition that occurs when someone suffering from a concussion is subjected to a second brain injury. SIS results in brain swelling that can very quickly cause long-term brain damage or death. The cause of SIS is not fully understood, but it’s thought that during recovery from concussion, brain cells have a limited ability to control blood flow into brain tissue, causing them to be vulnerable to blood flow-related swelling.
SIS can happen when an injury is suffered even weeks after the initial concussion, and even a minor impact on the head during the vulnerable period can result in SIS.
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by repeated head injuries. Symptoms may include behavioral problems, mood problems, and problems with thinking. Symptoms typically do not begin until years after the injuries. CTE often gets worse over time and can result in dementia. It is unclear if the risk of suicide is altered.
(1) Asken, BM; Sullan, MJ; DeKosky, ST; Jaffee, MS; Bauer, RM (1 October 2017). “Research Gaps and Controversies in Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy: A Review”. JAMA Neurology. 74 (10): 1255–1262. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2017.2396. PMID 28975240. (2) Stein, TD; Alvarez, VE; McKee, AC (2014). “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: a spectrum of neuropathological changes following repetitive brain trauma in athletes and military personnel”. Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy. 6 (1): 4. doi:10.1186/alzrt234. PMC3979082. PMID24423082.
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