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Sports Concussions: Signs, Symptoms and Behaviors


According to the most recent international consensus of concussion experts (1), concussion signs (those noticed by coaches, parents and teammates) and symptoms (feelings or problems experienced by the athlete) fall into five "clusters":

       1. Symptoms

  • somatic (headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual problems, sensitivity to light/noise, balance problems); 
  • cognitive (feeling mentally "foggy," feeling slowed down, difficulty concentrating and remembering);
  • emotional (involuntary crying or uncontrollable episodes of crying and/or laughing)

       2. Physical signs (loss of consciousness (LOC)amnesia)

       3. Behavioral changes (irritability, sadness, nervousness, more emotional, depression

       4. Cognitive impairments (slowed reaction times etc.) 

       5. Sleep disturbance (insomnia, drowsiness, sleeping less than usual, sleeping more than usual).

1. McCrory P, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012.  Br. J. Sports Med 2013;47:250-258.