Single Versus Cumulative Concussion

What the literature indicates, and what we often times see in a clinical setting is that after a single, uncomplicated concussion, most individuals--athletes or otherwise-- follow a course of complete recovery somewhere in the order of 7 to 10 days, with a very small percentage of individuals perhaps having a more protracted recovery for a period of several days to a couple of weeks. Recurrent concussion can result in a lengthier recovery time, perhaps increase an individual's risk for chronic symptoms-- such as headaches, dizziness or balance problems, cognitive difficulties-- and then the big picture right now suggests that they may be at increased risk of late-life disorders-- such as problems with memory, what we refer to as mild cognitive impairment-- and perhaps even degenerative diseases--such as Alzheimer's disease-- as well as neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

For most people after a single concussion, a 7-10 day course of rest and recovery clears up most problems. Recurring TBIs are a different story.

Posted on BrainLine October 20, 2010.

Produced by Victoria Tilney McDonough and Brian King, BrainLine.