physicians diagnose a brain injury and determine its severity by conducting several
tests, which can include:
- A physical
- Imaging studies such as
computed tomography (CT) or MRI scans of the brain
- Neuropsychological tests
to evaluate the patient’s cognitive functioning, such as learning, memory,
concentration, and problem solving
Treatment for Concussion
Concussion causes temporary dysfunction of brain cells and require rest for a full recovery. Patients
can usually recover at home, requiring only rest and over-the-counter pain
relievers. Rest is very important after a concussion because it helps the brain
to heal – however, too much rest might not be good for recovery.
Although most people
recover after a concussion, how quickly they improve depends on many factors, such
- How healthy they were
before the concussion
- The severity of the
- How they take care of
themselves after the injury
- Their age
When a patient’s
symptoms have reduced significantly, a gradual return to activities such as work
or school is recommended.
A person with a concussion should have someone at home who can provide close monitoring so
that follow-up treatment can be provided if symptoms persist or get worse. If
symptoms come back or new symptoms develop, a physician should be notified
Considerations for Athletes and Student
About 10 percent of athletes
participating in contact sports will experience a concussive brain
injury. When such injuries happen, allowing time for the brain to heal
is key. Whether an athlete has
a concussion (or even if one is suspected), it's important to
Whether the athlete
is participating in football, soccer, cheerleading, or any other sport, please
keep in mind the following:
- Most will recover
quickly and fully. However, for some athletes, some effects of the concussion
can last for days, weeks, or longer.
- A repeat concussion
that occurs before the brain recovers from the first can slow recovery or
increase the chances for serious complications or even death.
- Sometimes people
wrongly believe that playing injured exhibits strength and courage. Some athletes
might also try to hide their symptoms. Thus, diagnosis is important.
- Don’t let the athlete
convince the coach that he or she is “just fine” or that he or she can “tough
it out.” In fact, the saying for suspected concussion should be, “when in doubt,
sit it out.”
- Playing with a
concussion is dangerous. Pressuring injured athletes to play should be
- Young children and
teens are more likely to get a concussion and take longer to recover than
- Athletes who have had a concussion are at increased risk for another concussion.
- Recognition and
proper response to concussions when they first occur can help prevent further
injury or even death.
Research and Clinical Trials
Institute for Brain Injury and Repair
at UT Southwestern is focused on a
comprehensive and transformative approach to how brain injuries are prevented
and treated. We draw on our depth of technology advances, innovative research,
and exemplary patient care to create a unique collaboration to enhance the
treatment and diagnosis of brain injuries.