UNDERSTANDING MILD BRAIN INJURIES AND CONCUSSIONS
Most people who have a mild brain injury get well and do not experience long term problems. Adults and children with a mild injury should be monitored closely at home for any persistent, worsening or new symptoms. Sometimes a mild injury or concussion is missed at the initial injury. MRI and CAT scans are often normal.
Common Symptoms Can Include:
- Cognitive Problems
- Difficulty Thinking
- Memory Problems
- Attention Deficits
- Mood Swings
Standardized instruments such as the Acute Concussion Evaluation ACE and the SCAT Sport Concussion Assessment tool provide a systematic way to assess someone who has had a mild injury. If symptoms persist often a neuro psychological evaluation can identify strategies to treat the ongoing symptoms.
Recovering from a Concussion
- Rest – Allows the brain to heal. Not sleeping after a concussion or needing to wake an individual periodically is a myth unless directed by a physician to do so. Slowly and gradually return to normal activity and if symptoms return or get worse you are doing too much too soon.
- Avoid Physically Demanding Activities – You are at risk to having another concussion.
- Avoid Driving, Riding a Bike or Operating Equipment – You may not realize it but after a concussion your balance and reaction time can be affected.
- Alcohol & Other Drugs – May slow your recovery and may put you at risk for further injury. Facing a brain injury is a difficult challenge.