Concussions have received a great deal of attention in the media and in the medical community. An increasing body of research has identified potential adverse and long-term effects of concussion, and individual cases with adverse outcomes are increasingly being publicized.
The most recent consensus statement on concussion in sport1 published in 2013 defined a concussion as “a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain, induced by traumatic biomechanical forces,” characterized by the following features: (1) caused by a direct blow to the head or blow to the body that transmits an “impulsive” force to the head; (2) results in rapid onset of short-lived neurologic impairment that resolves spontaneously; (3) clinical symptoms are variable and may or may not include loss of consciousness; (4) symptoms largely reflect a functional disturbance rather than a structural injury (thus, no abnormalities are seen on standard structural neuroimaging studies); and (5) symptom resolution typically follows a sequential course but may be prolonged in a small percentage of cases.
LaBella C. Concussion and Female Middle School Athletes. JAMA. 2014;312(7):739-740. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.6668