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Brain Injury Research Institute
Actively researching the brain since 1996
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Quick Facts

What is a Concussion?

A concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI), is caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to either the head or the body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull. A concussion changes how the brain normally functions.

Concussions are a major component of what the Brain Injury Research Institute studies. Concussions can have serious and long-term health effects, and even a seemingly mild 'ding' or a bump on the head can be serious.

Signs and symptoms of concussion include headache, nausea, fatigue, confusion or memory problems, sleep disturbances, or mood changes; symptoms are typically noticed right after the injury, but some might not be recognized until days or weeks later.

How many sports concussions occur each year?

An estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports- and recreation-related concussions occur in the United States each year.

During 2001-2005, children and youth ages 5-18 years accounted for 2.4 million sports-related emergency department (ED) visits annually, of which 6% (135,000) involved a concussion.

In what sports are concussions most often reported?

In organized high school sports, concussions occur more often in competitive sports, with football accounting for more than 60% of concussions.

For males, the leading cause of high school sports concussion is football; for females the leading cause of high school sports concussion is soccer.

Among children and youth ages 5-18 years, the fi ve leading sports or recreational activities which account for concussions include: bicycling, football, basketball, playground activities, and soccer.

What is known about sports concussion risk and recovery?

High school athletes' recovery times for a sports concussion are longer than college athletes' recovery times.

High school athletes who sustain a concussion are three times more likely to sustain a second concussion.

Lack of proper diagnosis and management of concussion may result in serious long-term consequences, or risk of coma or death.

What should you do if you think you or your child has had a concussion?

Seek medical attention right away.

  • A health care professional will be able to decide when it is safe to return to sports.

Do not return to play with a known or suspected concussion until evaluated and given permission by an appropriate health care professional.

  • Second concussions that occur before you have recovered can be very serious.

Tell your coach or child's coach about any recent concussions.

Concussion Facts

  • According to CDC estimates, 1.6-3.8 m sports and recreation related concussions occur each year in the U.S.
  • 10% of all contact sport athletes sustain concussions yearly.
  • Brain injuries cause more deaths than any other sports injury. In football, brain injuries account for 65% to 95% of all fatalities. Football injuries associated with the brain occur at the rate of one in every 5.5 games. In any given season, 10% of all college players and 20% of all high school players sustain brain injuries.
  • 87% of professional boxers have sustained a brain injury.
  • 5% of soccer players sustain brain injuries as a result of their sport.
  • The head is involved in more baseball injuries than any other body part. Almost half of the injuries involve a child's head, face, mouth or eyes.
  • An athlete who sustains concussion is 4-6 times more likely to sustain a second concussion.
  • Effects of concussion are cumulative in athletes who return to play prior to complete recovery.
  • Up to 86% of athletes that suffer a concussion will experience Post-Traumatic Migraine or some other type of headache pain. In fact, recent evidence indicates that presence and severity of headache symptoms may be a very significant indicator of severity of head injury and help guide return to play decisions.
  • 1.5 million Americans suffer from traumatic brain injuries
  • A traumatic brain injury occurs every 15 seconds
  • It's the number one cause of death in children and young adults
  • Fewer than 1 in 20 will get the facts they need
  • It causes 1.5 times more deaths than AIDS
Brain Injury Research Institute - Brain Injury Research Institute
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