What is a concussion?

A concussion is the presence of signs and symptoms (for example, headache, dizziness, nausea and sensitivity to light) following a direct or indirect impact to the head. Although symptoms normally disappear within 7 to 10 days, several factors may cause symptoms to persist. The intervention and supervision of an interdisciplinary team of health care professionals (athletic therapist, physician, neuropsychologist, kinesiologist, etc.) in the management of an individual who has suffered a concussion is necessary in order to promote optimal rehabilitation.

A concussion is a cerebral injury resulting from biomechanical forces that lead to physiological dysfunction. This mild traumatic brain injury is a complex pathophysiological process that affects the brain and is the result of a neurometabolic physiological cascade.

A concussion is the result of a direct or indirect impact to the head that leads to a physiological dysfunction in brain function. Unlike other traumatic injuries (ex: a tibia fracture) or other more severe types of traumatic brain injuries, where we can evaluate tissue integrity using medical imagery (ex: X-Rays) to identify the injury and diagnose the severity of the traumatic brain injury, a concussion is a complex pathophysiological process that is not currently visible with conventional imagery methods, for example X-Rays and standard MRI. The diagnosis and treatment of a concussion is an important challenge for clinicians and can be considerably facilitated with an interdisciplinary approach.