A concussion is considered to be a mild form of traumatic brain injury, which is usually brought on by a sudden blow or impact to the head. It will usually require immediate medical attention because of the organ involved, which is the brain, but then eventually heals.
However, there is also such a thing as long-term concussion, which basically means that the patient may possibly experience persistent symptoms even long after the concussion occurred. This can be very disruptive and even debilitating for the patient.
Symptoms of Concussion
Generally speaking, a concussion can manifest with a feeling of pressure in the head, fogginess, dizziness or “seeing stars”, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, or even temporary loss of consciousness. For the most part, the symptoms occur within the first seven to 10 days following the incident that caused the concussion, and can last for as much as up to three months.
In some cases, however, the symptoms tend to stick around for longer periods of time, with some even reaching as much as up to a full year. Left unchecked, it can significantly affect the patient’s quality of life. However, there is no technical method as of yet that is currently in practice that can determine early on whether the patient is likely to suffer from long-term concussion.
MRI for Possible Early Diagnosis
With the use of MRI and sophisticated statistical analysis, it was shown in the study that abnormal patterns of brain activity within the first two weeks of the concussion increases the probability of long-term symptoms.
This was found after they tracked the brain activity of 75 patients within the said two-week period. The results are encouraging and the hope is that they will be able to harness further information so they can use the MRI technology to more accurately predict or deal with the diagnosis of long-term concussions. The sooner the patients are made aware about their probability of experiencing the symptoms for the long-term, the better they can brace themselves for it and cushion the impact on their daily lives.
New MRI Method Aids Long-Term Concussion Prognosis, ScienceDaily
Long-Term Effects of Brain Injuries, Weill Cornell Medicine