A concussion is a blow or impact to the head that can change the way your brain normally works.

Overview and Symptoms

A concussion will usually fit the following guidelines:

  • Concussion affects the brain, not just the head. Bleeding scalps and hurting heads are not concussions.
  • People recover from concussions.
  • Only in a small percentage of cases are post-concussive symptoms prolonged.
Moderate to Severe Brain Surgery

Traumatic brain injury is a disruption in the normal function of the brain caused by a violent blow to the head or body. It can also be caused by an object penetrating the skull, including a shattered piece of skull.

Diagnosis

The first time you come to the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic, you will meet with a cognitive neurologist. The doctor will ask you about the symptoms you are experiencing, talk with you about how you sustained your injury and the difficulties you are having, and how well you are doing with work, school and leisure activities. The doctor also will review the results of any tests and interventions you have already had. Talking with you and reviewing your test results gives the doctor a good sense of how your injury has affected your everyday life. The goal is to help you regain the ability to do the things you like and want to do to the greatest extent possible.

You doctor will also perform a neurological examination, including a cognitive assessment, to get an idea of how your injury has affected the function of various parts of your brain. Based on that history and examination a referral to Neuropsychology may be requested.

The neuropsychologist uses standardized tests to identify strengths and weaknesses of very specific cognitive functions, such as attention, memory, information- processing, and others.

Treatment

The initial consultation and evaluation helps the Traumatic Brain Injury Team develop a treatment/management plan catered to the individual’s needs. The plan will depend on the severity of your injury, where you are in your acute recovery process, how well you are doing with school, work, leisure and social activities, your goals and whether you have the services you need in the community where you live.

Every individual who is evaluated at the Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic benefits from expert advice to continue recovery and gradually return to your usual activities. For those who are already well on their way to recovery, this is often all that is needed. The team also can write to an employer or school to outline a plan for return to activities.

Learn More

The Department of Neurology provides a full range of both inpatient and outpatient neurological services through a variety of subspecialty clinics, including  Cognitive Neurology, Epilepsy, Stroke, Neuromuscular Disease, Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders, Neuro-ophthalmology, Neuro-oncology, Neuro-HIV, Neurogenetics, Multiple Sclerosis, and Sleep Disorders.

Neurology