Narrator: This is Science Today. Many people
believe a concussion means losing consciousness, but
it's really any alteration in mental function that
occurs after a blow to the head. Martin Holland, a
clinical professor of neurosurgery at the University
of California, San Francisco describes what happens
when a concussion occurs.
Holland: The cell gets disturbed so much that
it takes a heck of a lot of energy to try and reestablish
the cell's normal state. The cell goes into a state
of starvation where it can not produce enough energy
to try to reestablish all its biochemical mechanisms.
Narrator: Symptoms may be subtle - a headache,
dizziness, memory lapses and confusion or even a personality
Holland: For the most part, they are most severe
immediately or right around the time of the concussion
and with time they recover. Now, on occasion you'll
find a patient that does not recover from the post-concussive
syndrome and we really don't know why they don't.
But for the most part, most people do and by six months,
most people who have had a concussion that have suffered
post-concussive syndrome no longer have anything.
Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.