ImPACT Version 4

Administration and Interpretation Manual

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What Symptoms Are Often Associated with a Concussion?

Identifying a concussion can be difficult under the best of circumstances. There may be no direct trauma to the head and the individual is often not rendered unconscious. The individual may be unaware that he or she has been injured immediately after the incident and may not show any obvious signs of concussion such as imbalance, confusion, or obvious amnesia. To complicate this situation, an individual may intentionally minimize or hide symptoms in an attempt to prevent being removed from the game or not lose time at work, thereby creating the potential for additional injury. Finally, individuals may have different symptoms following a concussive injury depending on the biomechanical forces involved and the individual’s injury history. Signs (observed by others) and symptoms (reported by the person) differ from person to person and therefore an individualized approach to evaluation is necessary.

Some signs and symptoms that are frequently associated with a concussion include:

  • Headache or a sensation of pressure in the head
  • Nausea with or without vomiting
  • Confusion or disorientation to time, place
  • Retrograde amnesia (loss of memory for events preceding injury)
  • Posttraumatic amnesia (difficulty with formation of new memory)
  • Feeling mentally slowed down
  • Feeling mentally “foggy” or “groggy”
  • Dizziness
  • Disruption of balance
  • Sensitivity to light (photosensitivity)
  • Sensitivity to noise (phonosenstivity)
  • Visual blurriness, fuzziness, or difficulty tracking
  • Short-term memory difficulties
  • Concentration problems
  • Motor clumsiness (stumbling, slowed movement)
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