How Does A Concussion Affect Your Brain?
Concussions can be complex in the way they manifest themselves, in part because they are difficult to define and come with different symptoms and side effects for each sufferer.
Indeed the long term effect of multiple concussions, as Cognitive FX show, can be serious and tough to treat. So how does a concussion leave its mark on your brain and what are the things to look out for when dealing with this type of injury?
While you might assume that a concussion is defined as being an injury suffered by your brain that causes bruising to the tissue, this is not the case; such an injury which involves bleeding is a contusion. This makes the physical effects of a concussion far more nebulous and difficult to detect; it is all down to how the individual feels rather than what shows up in a scan taken by advanced machinery.
Appreciating that a concussion does not manifest itself it an easily measurable way is crucial because it means that you will also take seriously any suspected concussion case, rather than dismissing it as being an overreaction by an individual who otherwise looks uninjured.
A concussion occurs when an impact is delivered to your head or upper body which in turn causes your brain to hit the walls of your skull. The material that makes up the brain has been proven to be very fragile, so it is no surprise that even relatively mild trauma can have dramatic, instant side effects.
Because of the nature of the causes of concussions, they can actually result in a number of different parts of the brain being temporarily disrupted, impaired or otherwise rendered incapable of functioning normally. In the short term this can cause vomiting, memory loss, dizziness, a lack of an ability to balance normally, blurred vision and a host of other symptoms.
Even if some of these signs of a concussion subside or shift in the minutes or hours after the impact takes place, there are other long term effects that can be seen which suggest the brain is still recovering and is not yet back to its normal operational mode.
Mood swings are often seen in concussion sufferers, with temperament susceptible to rapid changes and irritability unfortunately a regular side effect.
Pain can also be felt, emulating the kinds of pangs that might normally be associated with a headache. However, a painkiller which would be used to treat basic headaches may not work in the event of a concussion and the use of such drugs is dissuaded by some experts if a concussion is suspected.
If a concussion is mild enough, the best cure for all of the symptoms and signals is rest, since this will allow the brain to naturally recuperate and rebalance its systems after an unwanted shock. Exacerbating these symptoms and creating more problems can occur if the sufferer participates in strenuous physical activities or concentrates on tasks for too long, so avoid these where possible.
If you're interested in enhancing your cognitive functions, check out this article to understand how fat fuels our brain, and the importance of this when it comes to your own personal diet.