SEP 12, 2017 03:31 PM PDT
Hard Knocks: How the Brain Responds to Trauma
WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 2 283

Helmets are the norm in contact sports like American football. But here's the thing, helmets can't stop the brain from "sloshing" inside the skull after a traumatic head injury. That "sloshing" motion is the brain being banged and bruised against the skull, which could lead to a concussion if the trauma force is great enough. It's estimated that high school football accounts for nearly half of all reported sports-related concussions.

When the brain is jostled hard enough against the skull, the fragile neurons stretch and tear. As the damaged neurons die, they also release signals which cause nearby neurons to also decay. These molecular events precipitate the most commonly reported symptoms of a concussion: dizziness, blurred vision, headache, and blackout.

Fortunately, the brain is resilient and can recover from mild concussions with plenty of rest. And unless there are other serious neuronal bleeds or complications, there's no evidence that going to sleep after a concussion will increase the chances of a subsequent coma. In fact, if a person receives a concussion and continues with strenuous activity, that person is more likely to develop post-concussion syndrome (PCS) - a condition whereby concussion symptoms last weeks and even months after the injury.

So, it's best to keep your brain protected at all times. But if you do happen to get a concussion, take it easy and give the brain time to heal.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
MAY 14, 2018
Videos
MAY 14, 2018
Atlas the Robot Goes Jogging in Suburbia: Video
In May 2018, Boston Dynamics shared a video of its Atlas robot out for a neighborhood jog. Much like Atlas' backflip video that received over 15 million vi
MAY 20, 2018
Videos
MAY 20, 2018
Dangers of Alcohol and Other Foods on Medications
It is a fact that medications that make us drowsy should never be taken with alcoholic beverages because alcohol can also make us drowsy. However, there ar
MAY 28, 2018
Videos
MAY 28, 2018
How Will NASA Protect Earth From Potentially-Hazardous Asteroids?
Earth is no stranger to asteroids, but that's no reason to let our guard down. While many smaller asteroids break up in the planet's atmosphere, a larger o
JUN 04, 2018
Videos
JUN 04, 2018
Are Giant Pandas Overrated?
Are giant pandas overrated? Sure, they’re cute and bring a lot of tourism to zoos and wildlife parks, but they don’t do much for the environmen
JUN 07, 2018
Health & Medicine
JUN 07, 2018
Hantavirus Kills a Woman in New Mexico
Hantavirus is a respiratory disease that is contracted when airborne particles from rat droppings and urine are breathed into the lungs. Symptoms can initi
JUN 08, 2018
Videos
JUN 08, 2018
Video: Paper Made From What?
This eco-friendly paper is sourced from poop.
Loading Comments...