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Concussion

CONCUSSION

A concussion is a common head injury, also known as a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI). Concussion is a type of brain injury that changes normal working functions such as memory or balance.

• A concussion is a brain injury that affects how your brain works.
• A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
• A concussion can happen even if you haven’t been knocked out.

MORE COMMON THAN WE KNOW

• It is estimated that in Australia there is likely to be six to ten times higher than reported rates of concussion (Finch et al, 2013)
• Every year more than 3,000 people in Australia are hospitalised after being concussed playing sport (Brain Injury Australia, 2012)

IT DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A DIRECT BLOW TO THE HEAD

It can be caused by a direct blow to the head or body that indirectly causes the head to move quickly in any direction. The damage to the brain during a concussion is caused by a sudden shifting of the brain inside the skull, causing the brain tissue to change shape and stretch. This shifting can cause the brain to knock against the hard bone of the skull causing bruising to the brain and damaging brain cells. This damage also causes chemical and metabolic changes within the brain cells, making it more difficult for cells to function and communicate.

THE BRAIN CONTROLS OUR MIND AND BODY

The brain is a complex organ, controlling all body and mind functions. Therefore a concussion can affect how a person feels at the time and in the future. Even what seems to be a mild bump to the head can be a potentially serious issue. Further, repeated concussions have been show to affect nerve tissues in the brain which may change brain function and increase faster aging compared to healthy brains which have not been subject to repeated impacts.