Brain Concussion

Concussion is a common condition that accompanies the majority of head injuries. A simple brain concussion is not a serious diagnosis and the patient's life is not threatened. However, the concussion is accompanied by a number of negative symptoms and it can cause long-lasting subsequent difficulties.


A concussion occurs during a head injury, e.g. during falls from heights, car accidents, acts of violence, etc. The concussion is related to an abrupt, short and self-limiting disruption of the brain function. 


The basic symptoms of concussion include headache, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Less commonly, there may be present temporary double vision, which quickly disappears. The classical concussion always includes at least a short-term unconsciousness. The person usually suffers from a memory loss of the time period of the injury.


After a head injury associated with the above symptoms, the patient is usually taken to a hospital and examined as it is advisable to rule out more serious head injury than a concussion. The diagnosis should be made according to a neurological examination and results of imaging methods such as computed tomography or magnetic resonance imaging of the brain. The diagnosis is based on the fact that we do not find any clear pathology.


Despite the absence of a clear brain injury in the imaging methods, the patient may suffer from various recurring symptoms such as headache, dizziness, irritability and fatigue for days, weeks or even months after the head injury. Rarely, even minor disruption of some neurons happening during the concussion may lead to occurrence of epileptic seizures.


There is no treatment of concussion. The bed rest with adequate fluid intake is recommended and the patient should avoid sharp sunlight and loud sounds. Painkillers and drugs against dizziness may be administered in the acute condition to ease the symptoms.


Jiri Stefanek, MD  Author of texts: Jiri Stefanek, MD
 Sources: basic text sources