How Long Does Brain Fog Last After Concussion
Brain fog or post-traumatic amnesia after a concussion may last for minutes, days, or weeks. It depends on the severity of the head injury. Most people find their short-term memory improving within 24 hours of a mild TBI, but there can be residual memory impairment that goes unnoticed for much longer.
Short Term Effects Of A Concussion
After suffering a concussion, many people experience headache and confusion. Some people experience loss of memory and are unable to remember the event. The amnesia may or may not follow loss of consciousness.
In addition to loss of balance or dizziness, concussions may cause:
- A temporary loss of consciousness
- Feeling as if your brain is in a fog
- Delayed response to questions
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
Head trauma is very common in young children, especially in toddlers who are learning to walk, run and play. Short-term effects may be difficult to recognize in children because youngsters may not be able to describe how they feel. After a child hits his head, watch for non-verbal clues of a concussion, such as:
- Appearing dazed
- Changes in eating or sleeping patterns
Will I Ever Get My Memories Back After Brain Injury
Personal memories, known as anecdotal memories, can and do often return after brain injury. Sometimes this can take place over the course of the initial recovery period, while other memories may take weeks, months or even years to gradually return. Some memories can be encouraged to return by looking at photographs, personal objects or listening to music relating to the memory.
It is common for the memories immediately preceding and following the incidence of the injury to remain forgotten. Sadly, there may be memories that do not return directly to you, or memories that return but are not as clear as they used to be. It is perfectly normal to grieve for this loss. You can try to feel a stronger connection to the memory by talking to family and friends about it or looking through photographs.
New memories can still be formed as you continue your journey through your life after brain injury. You may wish to document these new memories, such as special events, recovery milestones or even day-to-day activities, by taking photos or keeping a diary.
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Avoid Unnecessary Movement Of Your Head And Neck
Try to avoid anything that causes your head or neck to jostle around. These are the types of motions that can cause a concussion in the first place, and minimizing them gives your brain a chance to recover. While some of these motions might be unavoidable, steer clear of roller coasters and excessive physical activity for a few weeks.
How Long Does Memory Loss Last After A Concussion
Memory loss after concussion can last far longer than previously thought, according to a growing body of research. One study found that people who had a concussion had memory and thinking test scores about 25% lower than healthy people. One year post injury, their test scores were similar to healthy people, but brain damage was still visible on imaging tests that showed disruption to crucial brain cells.
Its impossible to say how long concussion memory loss will last as every person is different. MRI and CT scans may show brain damage in a particular region, but imaging tests may not show diffuse brain damage. The severity of symptoms does not always correlate to the amount of brain damage, either.
Temporary memory loss after a concussion is common but, fortunately, permanent amnesia is far less frequent. As a general rule, most people have noticeable symptoms of concussion and memory loss within minutes to days of their accident that last up to 7 to 10 days before improving.
When concussion symptoms last longer than this, it may be called post concussion syndrome , a term used to describe concussion symptoms lasting longer than one or two weeks. PCD can last for months, a year, or even longer for some people.
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Depression And Other Emotional Symptoms
Emotional symptoms are often a lynchpin for post-concussion experiences. Unfortunately, individuals who are a year or more removed from a concussion display more emotional symptoms than the general population this can manifest as depression, anxiety, as well as cognitive issues such as concentration difficulties. Other stressors in the post-TBI phase can also lead to increasing amounts of depression and related symptoms over time.9,10
Compassionate Healing Starts Here
Our highly trained neurotrauma team is made of subspecialists in the rapid treatment and care of injuries related to the brain, spinal cord and nerves. As part of Greater Cincinnatis only adult Level I trauma center, these world-renowned experts have unique access to innovative techniques and technologies needed to treat even the most complex cases.To schedule an appointment, please call the UC Health Neurotrauma team at .
Limit Exposure To Bright Lights And Loud Sounds
After a concussion, you might notice that youre especially sensitive to bright lights and loud sounds. You may want to try avoiding big crowds and bright fluorescent lighting for a few days while you recover. This will give your body time to heal and prevent light or sound sensitivities from getting worse.
Minor Concussions Sometimes Go Unrecognized
Perhaps the most troubling thing about concussion-induced memory loss, and the prospect for it lasting far longer than one might expect, is that a person suffering from these symptoms may not even realize how or why they started. It might not occur to them that the bump on the head they took six months ago is the reason they struggle to remember important errands, or that they fail to absorb reading material for a class. Many of these people simply do not realize that a minor bump on the head can cause a concussion that leads to major problems.
Hitting ones head, seeing stars, and getting your bell rung, has for centuries been considered, in effect, no big deal in the medical sense. Doctors and patients assumed a concussion would heal without lasting damage, given sufficient rest. Only now are we beginning to understand that, in fact, the damage can persist if patients and medical providers do not take concussions extremely seriously from the get-go.
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How Did We Test Our Questions
To determine whether working memory was affected by mTBI, we tested students with a history of mTBI, averaging 4 years post-injury, and a control group that was made up of students who had no history of mTBI. Participants had to use working memory to remember the colors of squares that were briefly flashed on a computer screen. The experiment asked students to do a lot of trials that went as follows. First, student focused on the center of the screen, a cue appeared , indicating where the student should attend either the left or the right side of fixation. Then, after a short pause, 1, 2, or 3 colored squares quickly flashed on each side of the screen. On one side they were attending the colored squares. This image was the working memory encoding phase which allowed some of the colored squares to enter working memory. Next, there was a short pause, or maintenance period, during which the student tried to hold in working memory the color of each square. Finally, the retrieval stage was a test of working memory. One square appeared on the attended side of the monitor and the student pressed keys to indicate whether it matched or mismatched the color shown during encoding. An example of one trial of this task is shown in Figure 1, and participants did hundreds of trials.
Concussions: How They Can Affect You Now And Later
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A concussion is a mild form of traumatic brain injury that affects how your brain functions. These effects can be short-term, lasting only a few hours or a couple of days, or cause long-term problems.
Concussions occur as the result of a traumatic blow to the head that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth in a whiplash-like fashion. The sudden movement causes the brain to bounce and twist around inside the skull, stretching and damaging the delicate cells and structures inside your brain. This damage can cause physical and chemical changes in your brain to affect how it functions.
While medical professionals usually describe concussions as a mild form of TBI, even the mildest concussions can cause serious effects.
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Follow All Your Doctors Orders
Your doctor will likely give you some additional recovery tips. These might include waking yourself up regularly during the first night or taking some time off work.
If headaches are a component of your concussion, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat them.
They can also tell you about signs to watch for and guide you on when it might be a good idea to head to the ER.
Most concussions resolve on their own without any lasting effects. However, some concussions can accompany a more serious injury that requires treatment.
Seek emergency treatment if you notice any of the following after a concussion:
- sudden, intense headaches
Symptoms To Watch Out For
Our principal advice to anyone reading this blog post is to seek medical attention immediately after any violent blow or jolt to the head or to the body that has the potential to cause a concussion. Even a concussion that does not appear to show symptoms lasting more than a few minutes could, if left untreated, lead to severe health consequences. Do not trust your own self-assessment of how you feel after absorbing a jarring impact. Instead, let a doctor who is trained in spotting telltale signs of a concussion perform a quick exam.
Then, regardless of what the doctor finds, take care to pay attention to how you feel, and ask someone close to you to monitor you, too.
When it comes to memory-related symptoms, watch out for any unusually numerous instances of:
- Forgetting details of a conversation quickly
- Leaving home without basic items you need, like car keys or a jacket
- Asking the same question repeatedly in a short period of time
- Forgetting important events, appointments, or occasions
- Inability to recall recent information and
- Searching for the right word to describe a simple thing or concept.
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Why Do I Keep Forgetting The News Ive Read This Morning But I Can Remember Things From Years Ago
Memory is not technically one single skill there are lots of different types of memories stored across the brain and different ways of categorising them. Often, people refer to memories in two broad categories: short term and long term.
The basic stages of getting information from short-term to long-term memory are initially taking information in, storing it and retrieving it when needed . Different parts of the brain are involved in these stages, for instance the hippocampus is a part of the brain involved in storing long-term memories.
Long-term memories have had time to undergo each stage and be stored properly through a process known as consolidation. Day-to-day memories, on the other hand, are new information that have not had a chance to undergo this process of consolidation. A brain injury can affect any of the stages involved in this process, therefore disrupting memory storage and leading to poor recollection of the information.
Treatment Options For Memory Loss From A Concussion
The type of treatment you need to help you improve your memory and other symptoms after experiencing a concussion depends on your specific circumstances. A doctor at a concussion clinic will use a combination of therapies to help you recover. Common types of concussion therapy include the following.
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Ryans Story: Hope After Long
After sustaining a concussion in a car accident, Ryans life was turned upside down. He suffered from short-term memory problems, long-term memory problems, difficulty focusing, sleep disturbances, anxiety, and general cognitive difficulties. He and his mother looked for answers, but we just never found anything that could help him, his mother explained. We were just praying and praying for something that would help him to go forward in life, so he could have all the things we wanted for him in a more normal life.
So when Ryans aunt told them about Cognitive FX, they decided to pursue treatment at the clinic. Ryan was willing to put in whatever work was necessary to make a full recovery.
Even after the first day, my energy level was already starting to go up. I was able to sleep better at night, and as the week went on, my energy I have a ton of energy now. My focus is a lot better. I can multitask again, my long-term memory is pretty good now too, and short-term is not a problem. I can remember things people tell me, things I see, he said.
The people you work with they’re so friendly, he said. It’s the only place I’ve gone to where everyone really cares and asks you every day how you’re doing. It’s like a family environment, which helps you become more comfortable, which is important when you’re trying to do therapy.
Physical And Mental Rest
After you address any build up of spinal fluid, doctors will suggest physical and mental rest after a concussion.
For several days, avoid unnecessary physical activities. After that, avoid any activities that exacerbate your symptoms.
For a few days, avoid any activities that involve a lot of thinking or concentration:
- Watching TV
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Long Term Effects Of A Concussion
Some symptoms of a concussion develop hours or days after the traumatic brain injury occurred. These symptoms include:
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability and other personality changes
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Sleep disturbances
- Depression and other psychological problems
- Disorders of smell and taste
Long-term effects of concussion are rare. In fact, the vast majority of people see any symptoms resolve within a few weeks. Only about 20 percent of people might suffer from post-concussion syndrome, where they continue to experience symptoms after six weeks. However, the more concussions you get, the more likely you are to suffer long term consequences, especially if you dont give your brain enough time to heal between injuries.
At some level, concussions result in a brain injury, so were certainly worried about the accumulative affects of concussions, says Gregory Hawryluk, MD, neurosurgeon and concussion specialist at University of Utah Health. Were starting to learn that perhaps these seemingly minor blows to the head, when theyre accumulative, can lead to depression and behavior change. In fact, we think that some suicides may be linked to the brain damage that results from multiple concussions.
What Did We Find And What Do Our Results Mean
First, we found that, overall, students with a history of mTBI did worse on our working memory tasks than students without a history of mTBI . This is surprising because it was about 4 years since the students had had an mTBI and most people think that we get completely better after an mTBI. The results mean that there can be lasting changes after an mTBI. We found problems with working memory and we are now seeing problems with attention. We think there could be other problems, too, and we are now using more kinds of tasks to better understand what kinds of lasting changes are likely.
- Figure 2 – Students with a history of mTBI remember less than the control group.
- The control group remembered almost 2.5 colored squares, but the mTBI group only remembered about 2. The * means this difference is statistically significant. We used mathematical tests to tell us if the difference between the two groups is more than would be expected by chance. We found that it did, so it is called significantly different. These results and others we performed told us that students with a history of mTBI are worn at working memory tasks.
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How Long Does It Really Take To Recover From Concussion
- American Academy of Neurology
- A new study suggests that people with mild traumatic brain injuries may be more likely to have cognitive impairment, cognitive decline or both one year later, compared to people who were not injured. People with poor cognitive outcomes were also more likely to have other symptoms like anxiety and lower satisfaction with life.
A new study suggests that people with mild traumatic brain injuries may be more likely to have cognitive impairment, cognitive decline or both one year later, compared to people who were not injured. The research is published in the February 16, 2022, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. People with poor cognitive outcomes were also more likely to have other symptoms like anxiety and lower satisfaction with life.
“Our results suggest that clinically meaningful poor cognitive outcomes, which we defined as cognitive impairment, cognitive decline or both, one year after a concussion may be more common than previously thought,” said study author Raquel Gardner, MD, of the University of California San Francisco. “They also highlight the need to better understand the mechanisms underlying poor cognitive outcome, even after relatively mild brain injuries, to improve therapy for recovery.”
The study does not prove that people with concussions will have worse cognitive outcomes one year later, but it shows an association.
How Long Does Concussion Syndrome Last
Symptoms from post-concussion syndrome can resolve in just a few weeks or can persist for years. In some severe cases, concussion impairments can be permanent. 75% of PCS patients will find their symptoms resolve within 6 months. The majority of the other 25% will resolve within 2 years, and a smaller proportion will continue to experience symptoms after this mark. One recent study found that average post-concussion patients symptoms lasts for 7 months.
Risk Factors for Longer Recovery from Post Concussion Syndrome:
- History of previous concussions
- Loss of consciousness > 30 min at time of injury
- Anxiety and Depression syndromes
- Lack of participation in an active rehabilitation program
- Inability to limit over-stimulation during recovery
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