Your brain has the consistency of gelatin. It's cushioned from everyday jolts and bumps by cerebrospinal fluid inside your skull. A violent blow to your head and neck or upper body can cause your brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the inner walls of your skull.
Sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head, resulting from certain events such as a car crash or being violently shaken, also can cause brain injury.
These injuries affect brain function, usually for a brief period, resulting in signs and symptoms of concussion.
A brain injury of this sort may lead to bleeding in or around your brain, causing symptoms such as prolonged drowsiness and confusion that may develop right away or later.
Such bleeding in your brain can be fatal. That's why anyone who experiences a brain injury needs monitoring in the hours afterward and emergency care if symptoms worsen.
Apr. 02, 2014
- Evans RW. Concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Halstead ME, et al. Sports-related concussion in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 2010;126:597.
- Concussion: What can I do to feel better after a concussion? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/feel_better.html. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Heads up: Concussion in youth sports. A fact sheet for parents. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/youth.html. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Heads up: Facts for physicians about mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/concussion/HeadsUp/physicians_tool_kit.html. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Head injury. American Academy of Pediatrics. http://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/injuries-emergencies/Pages/Head-Injury.aspx. Accessed Oct. 30, 2013.
- Schutzman S. Minor head trauma in infants and children. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Oct. 31, 2013.
- Giza CC, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: Evaluation and management of concussion in sports: Report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2013;80:2250.
- McCrory P, et al. Consensus statement on concussion in sport: The 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012. Journal of Athletic Training. 2013;48:554.
- Wetjen NM, et al. Second impact syndrome: Concussion and second injury brain complications. Journal of the American College of Surgeons. 2010;211:553.
- Halstead ME, et al. Returning to learning following a concussion. Pediatrics. 2013;132:948.
- Neurological diagnostic tests and procedures. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/misc/diagnostic_tests.htm. Accessed Oct. 31, 2013.
- Brown AW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Nov. 19, 2013.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.