Physical Effects

The obvious physical effects of concussion include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness with imbalance

However, the exact short-term and long-term effects of concussion are still evolving.  Data shows that concussions are cumulative. Repetitive head trauma from participation in contact sports and military service in close combat situations involving explosions and IEDs can lead to a permanent decrease in brain function. Long-term effects include vision problems, memory deterioration, impaired balance, loss of coordination, and persistent headaches.  Concussions lead to disorders such as early Alzheimer’s disease, movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, and anxiety disorders.

The most notable complication of concussion is second impact syndrome. In this syndrome, a person who is recovering from an initial concussion sustains a subsequent concussive injury, resulting in diffuse brain swelling and severe, permanent neurological dysfunction or death.

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