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What are Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)?


Concussions are a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) caused by a blow or jolt to the head. The injury can range from mild to severe and disrupt the way your brain functions.

A concussion is the most common type of brain injury sustained in sports. An athlete does not have to lose consciousness to sustain a concussion.

You cannot see a concussion, but you may notice some signs and symptoms right after your injury. Other symptoms can show up days or weeks after your injury. It is best that you see a health care professional if you think you might have a concussion. An undiagnosed concussion or continuing to play with a concussion leaves a young athlete especially vulnerable to greater injury and even death.

Source: Brain Injury Association of America

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

TBI is an alteration in brain function caused by damage to the skull and/or the brain due to an external physical force. To meet the clinical case definition of TBI, one or more of the following conditions are be attributed to head injury and documented in the medical records:

  • Observed or self-reported decrease in level of consciousness
  • Amnesia
  • Skull fracture
  • Intracranial hematoma or hemorrhage, brain contusions or laceration.

TBI may cause problems with:

  • Cognition—concentration, memory, judgment, and mood
  • Movement abilities—strength, coordination, and balance
  • Sensation—tactile sensation and special senses such as vision
  • Emotion—instability and impulsivity.