Undiagnosed concussions can place athletes in vulnerable positions to permanent neurological dysfunction. Research is showing brain injury can exist even in the absence of a clinically diagnosed concussion, proving the difficulty in relying on the observational method currently in use.

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a common head injury also known as a Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) This type of brain injury alters normal working functions such as memory and balance. Because concussion cannot be observed on an Xray or CT scan it is often referred to as the 'invisible injury’.

  • A concussion is a brain injury that affects how your brain works.
  • A concussion is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or body.
  • A concussion can occur even if you haven’t been knocked out

Impact on the athlete

Evidence surrounding the detrimental effects of concussion is growing. Recent research suggests that these side effects are not limited to the long term.
Short term effects:

  • Neuromusuclar control deficits
  • Slowed reaction times post concussion
  • Reduced ability to maintain attention
  • Increased risk of lower-limb musculo-skeletal injury in the following 12 months post concussion

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of concussion can range from mild to very severe, and present immediately or for several days following the event, making it difficult to easily recognise and assess the severity of concussion.

Concussion myths

  • Loss of consciousness required - only 10-15% of concussions result in loss of consciousness.
  • Only caused by head impacts - any significant bump that transmits trauma to the head can result in a concussion - this includes body blows.
  • Helmets protect from concussions - helmets do not stop your brain from moving around the inside of your skull on impact.
  • Front on head impacts are most dangerous - rotational impacts are just as, if not more dangerous than linear. The Nexus A9 tracks both.
  • Concussions impact all athletes equally - there is no set threshold for concussive impacts. Each athlete will respond uniquely to brain injuries.