Physiological Consequences Associated with Concussions and Potential Implications for Diagnosis and Treatment
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractIt is commonly believed that people can fully recover from concussions. However, research suggests that a single concussion can increase the likelihood of having another concussion. Emerging evidence continues to link concussions to neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and Parkinson's disease, suggesting that the brain may never completely recover from the damage due to concussions. While the symptoms may fully resolve, on a molecular level, the impairments as a result of concussion may exist for much longer. As scientists continue to unravel the physiological response in the brain due to injury, there is an increased need to apply what is known to improve the current management strategies. Diagnostic tools remain limited, although some advanced neuroimaging techniques have shown to be capable of detecting the microstructural damage associated with concussions. There is currently no treatment for concussions and the standard protocol insists upon physical and cognitive rest until full exacerbation of symptoms. In this literature review, we highlight some of the major pathways affected during concussion, while exploring how these discoveries can be used to influence diagnosis tools and provide improvements to current treatment protocol.