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Diagnosis and Treatment of Concussions

When it comes to diagnosing a concussion, usually concussions create a variety of symptoms as we listed above, such as: headache, dizziness, fainting, nausea, blurred vision, sensitivity to light, sensitivity to noise, memory loss, confusion, drowsiness, anxiety, irritability, and slurred speech.

For athletes, many schools incorporate special testing such as imPACT, SAC (Standardized Assessment of Concussion), or SCAT2 (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool). Basically, the athlete takes a test at a time when he/she is healthy (or not believed to have a concussion like at the beginning of a sport’s season.) This standardized scoring system takes into account symptoms, physical examination findings, cognitive function, balance, and coordination. The baseline results are extremely important for comparison, later when the athlete may be suspected of having a concussion. When the athlete is suspected of having a concussion, the athlete takes the test again. This time the results of the post concussion test is compared to the baseline results PRE concussion. The post concussion results can determine if the athlete has a concussion and the severity of the concussion. When the post concussion test results have similar results as the pre concussion test than the athlete may be ready to play again.

Treatment of a concussion depends on the severity of the injury. Often, the typical very mild form of concussion is treated with rest and avoidance of physical exertion, and any activity that can create more damage to the brain. The physician is one of the most important professionals to help determine when the patient is able to resume normal activities.

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