Concussion

What Is It?

A concussion is a short-term disturbance in brain function caused by a head injury. A concussion causes:

  • Confusion, headache or dizziness

  • Loss of consciousness lasting less than 30 minutes or no loss of consciousness at all

  • Loss of memory (amnesia) lasting less than 24 hours

About half of all head injuries happen during motor vehicle accidents. Falls, sports and assaults cause the rest. Alcohol and drug use are major contributing factors.

Most head injuries result from direct trauma (for example, the head hitting the ground or the windshield of a car). In the elderly, serious head injuries can result from even minor falls. Injuries also can occur from rapid acceleration or deceleration, as may happen in a whiplash injury. People who injure their heads often injure their necks, too.

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