The Mayo Clinic is one of the leading sources for traumatic brain injury information, as well as numerous other health concerns. They are such a respected organization that they regularly answer readers’ questions in the Chicago Tribune in a column called Medical Edge from Mayo Clinic and one recent question shows both how widespread the recent interest in concussion is, as well as how little many know about one of the most common injuries in the nation.
The question is simple. “What happens to the brain when someone suffers a concussion? Do concussions increase the risk of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease?” While the Mayo Clinic does suggest repeated concussions could lead to dementia, which is currently in question by some members of the scientific community, everything else included acts as a comprehensive guide to concussion. It covers exactly what happens to the brain in the event of a concussion, the link to chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), symptoms, and even who is at the highest risk, though unfortunately they downplay how common traumatic brain injury is outside of sports.
The best bit of information included is what to do after a concussion. “Any time a concussion is suspected, it’s important that the person affected is thoroughly evaluated and has ample opportunity to recover.” The time it takes for symptoms to go away varies. Some will be better in a matter of days. Some may take a full month or more. However, it is absolutely essential not to return to normal activity until the symptoms have passed.
If not recovered, not only is the risk of another concussion higher, but the risk of serious brain damage is also heightened and can be fatal.
With the amount of information about traumatic brain injury out there, it can be confusing trying to sort through it all, especially when much of it is in explicitly medical language. Any time there is a source like this offering a comprehensive guide to the condition, I strongly suggest checking it out.