Mild traumatic brain injuries, also known as concussions, are the most common form of brain injury. Yet, there are many misconceptions regarding concussions. Unfortunately, this can lead to undiagnosed and untreated brain injuries.
To help raise awareness about concussions, we’ve assembled this short quiz. How much do you know about concussions? Test your knowledge of concussion facts with the “True or False” questions below.
True or False: A concussion is defined as a blow or jolt to the head that causes changes in brain function?
True. Our brains use nerve impulses to talk to different parts of the brain. When there’s a jolt or blow to the head, it can cause changes in the flow of those impulses, which then causes changes in brain function.
True or False: You can only get a concussion if you play sports?
False. While it is true that concussions can happen during sports, they can also happen to anyone, at any age, at any time. A few examples of where brain injury occurs is in falls, both in the elderly and in children, motor vehicle accidents, and even bike accidents in children.
True or False: You must “black out” in order to have a concussion?
False. Losing consciousness happens in only approximately 20% of concussion cases. Some signs to watch out for besides the “blacking out” include loss of memory of the events before, during or after the event, and feelings of confusion or even slowed thinking.
True or False: It is possible to have a concussion and not realize it?
True. Sometimes, changes in the brain following a concussion will not show up on brain imaging. However, there are several signs to watch out for after a concussion. They include:
- Slowed thinking, or feeling that you’re in a fog
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble remember new information
- Constant headache
- Changes in balance
- Lack of energy
- Mood changes
- Increased anxiety
- Change in sleep patterns, sleeping more or less than usual
If you feel like any of these things pertain to you or a family member, speak to your primary care physician about your concerns. He or she may refer you to a speech language pathologist, a physical therapist or occupational therapist who are trained to help those following brain injury.
Eva Baltz is a speech-language pathologist at Elkhorn Valley Rehabilitation Hospital in Casper, Wyoming. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from the University of Wyoming and her master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Rockhurst University. Eva is passionate about providing individualized treatment of aphasia and traumatic brain injury. She is an educator at heart and constantly seeks opportunities to promote education of her field. In her spare time, Eva enjoys exploring new places and photography.
Danielle Nielsen, OTR/L, CMPT is an Occupational Therapist at EVRH. She completed her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Dakota in 2016. She enjoys providing the best care for each and every one of her patients. Danielle is passionate about everything she does and always strives to find the fun in life. She is a Certified Manual Trigger Point Therapist, completing her dry needling certification in 2018. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys spending time with her friends, family and her dog, Franklin.
Colleen Powers is a speech-language pathologist at EVRH. She obtained her bachelor’s degree Communicative Sciences and Disorders and master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Montana. Colleen focuses on providing personalized and evidence-based therapy for people with communication, cognition, and/or swallowing disorders. Outside of work, Colleen enjoys skiing, hiking, and traveling.