Many times, parents have asked me what defines a concussion. One of the misconceptions about concussions is that it is a “bruise to the brain”. This is in fact not the case. A bruise to the brain is another way to describe a contusion to the brain and is something that can be seen on CT scan or MRI. Concussions are functional disturbances and not structural. This means you can’t see a concussion on a CT scan or an MRI.
Advanced studies have shown that concussed brain cells sustain changes in neurotransmitter release and ion exchange. Ultimately, these changes result in the loss of glucose and cell energy stores and what can be referred to as an energy crisis.
This leads me to the next point which is that both physical and mental rest are crucial to child concussion recovery. Your brain needs to use all its energy NOT to focus on video games or sports, but to heal. So, if your child has been diagnosed with a concussion, you should work closely with your child’s health provider to develop a program of mental and physical rest to ensure a proper and speedier recovery.