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Concussion Information | Concussion Symptoms | Head Injury Information

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Learning About Concussions

A concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), is caused by trauma to the head that immediately disrupts normal brain functioning, such as memory and processing speed. They most commonly result from motor vehicle accidents, falls, assaults and sports injuries and may cause a variety of different symptoms.

Because concussions affect the brain’s function but not its structure, neuro-imaging devices, such as computerized tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), will likely appear normal.

Do concussed individuals lose consciousness?

People can have a concussion without loss of consciousness. In fact, only about ten percent of people who suffer concussions lose consciousness, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Amnesia, not loss of consciousness, is usually the main indicator of concussion severity and the best predictor of post-injury recovery.

How prevalent are concussions?

Concussions are the most common brain injury in sports. Each year in the United States, about 300,000 sports and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries are reported. Experts at the Centers for Disease Control believe that thousands more go unreported.

How long does it take to recover from a concussion?

Recovery time varies from person-to-person, ranging from several minutes to days, weeks, months or even longer. Research suggests that children and adolescents need more time to recover from concussions than college students or professional athletes. If properly diagnosed and treated, individuals who suffer concussions will make a complete recovery. The best way to manage a concussion is to rest, limiting mental and physical exertion.

What are common symptoms of concussions?

Concussion symptoms usually appear immediately, but can also develop several days after the injury and may be physical, cognitive, emotional or sleep-related in nature:

  • Physical – headache, nausea, vomiting, balance problems, dizziness, visual problems, fatigue, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, numbness and tingling

  • Cognitive – feeling mentally “foggy,” feeling slowed down, difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering, forgetful of recent events or conversations, confused about recent events, repeats questions

  • Emotional – irritability, sadness, more emotional, nervousness

  • Sleep-related – drowsiness, sleeping more than usual, sleeping less than usual, trouble falling asleep

It’s important to remember that even mild concussions can have significant negative results, and the effects of multiple mild traumatic brain injuries can be cumulative. Furthermore, ongoing headaches and other concussive symptoms may indicate an incomplete recovery.

Additional concussion educational resources:

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The Center for Concussion Care and Physical Rehabilitation provides educational seminars about concussions to schools and other organizations. To schedule a presentation, please call 908-598-7972.

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Goryeb Children's Hospital
100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Atlantic Medical Group
1-800-247-9580

Morristown Medical Center

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Overlook Medical Center

99 Beauvoir Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901
908-522-2000

Newton Medical Center

175 High Street
Newton, NJ 07860
973-383-2121

Chilton Medical Center

97 West Parkway
Pompton Plains, NJ 07444
973-831-5000

Hackettstown Medical Center

651 Willow Grove Street
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
908-852-5100

Goryeb Children's Hospital

100 Madison Avenue
Morristown, NJ 07960
973-971-5000

Affiliated Providers

Atlantic Medical Group

More than 600 community-based health care providers.
1-800-247-9580