Concussion in Adults

Concussion in Adults

Ron Savage, Ed.D. and Bill Frey, Ph.D.
Concussion is a mild brain injury but it is not a minor condition as it is caused by trauma to the brain. This tip card describes the early and late symptoms of concussion including physical, cognitive, sensory, social, communicative and behavioral signs. This tip card includes an 8 week checklist to monitor symptoms and track recovery.
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Full Description

Most concussions cause temporary changes in abilities and functioning but during this time it is important to closely monitor the signs and symptoms with a physician. Adults with persistent symptoms may have post concussion syndrome which can slow recovery and require further treatment and supports. This tip card describes strategies to manage both temporary and possible long-term effects of concussions in adults. It will help families provide support at home and understand concussion symptoms.

Item CIA
Pages 8
Year 2007, second printing


Ron Savage, Ed.D.

Dr Savage specializes in the impact of brain injury on behavior and learning in children and adolescents. His international recognition as author and presenter is based on practical experience as a rehabilitation clinician, educator and school administrator.

A leader in advocacy for children with brain injuries, Ron founded the Pediatric Task Force of the Brain Injury Association. He is a national leader in developing model programs and has given special attention to recognizing the effects of concussion among children, the consequences of brain injury upon behavior, and designing educational programs for students with brain injuries in the community.


William Frey, Ph.D.

Dr. Frey is an Associate Professor of Psychology BA Villanova University, MA University of Vermont Experimental/perception, Ph.D. University of Vermont Clinical. His research includes Psychotherapy with Traumatic Brain Injury Patients.


This tip card helps individuals, families and professionals…

  • recognize concussion symptoms
  • monitor recovery over time

Concussions are Common

Concussions and the Brain

Recognizing Symptoms and Long Term Effects

  • Early symptoms
  • Persistent symptoms

Recovery Takes Time

See Your Primary Care Physician and Other Specialists
  • Tips on stragetegies for adjustment after a concussion...
  • Tips for family members, friends, teachers and employers...

Post-Concussion Check List for Adults

Monitor Symptoms

References and Resources


Sample excerpt. Preview only – please do not copy.

Concussions are Common

Everyday hundreds of people have “blows to the head” that cause concussions. Many just do nothing and try to “shrug it off” and hope the headache or dizziness goes away with time. Others may see a physician or go to the hospital’s emergency department for an evaluation. Often the examination finds nothing abnormal and the person is sent home. There may be no arrangements for follow-up care, even though the person has symptoms. Sometimes people have long-term problems after a concussion and do not understand why they are having difficulties.

A concussion is a physical injury to the brain that disrupts or interferes with a person’s normal functioning. Just like any other physical injury, it can affect each person differently. For example, some ankle injuries (i.e., sprains and fractures) are more disruptive or limiting to a person’s daily routine or lifestyle than others. Likewise, concussions have different consequences for one individual than another. The better we understand any injury, the better our chances are for a speedier and healthier recovery.

Concussions are the largest group of traumatic brain injuries. They account for almost 70% of all reported traumatic brain injuries. Most concussions are caused by the impact of a collision or a blow to the head during a car crash, a fall, sports injury or an assault. However, a person can also have a concussion as a result of a severe shaking or whiplash of the head. While some concussions cause the person to lose consciousness for a brief period of time (seconds to minutes), other concussions do not. A person may feel like they were “dinged” or “feel foggy”, but not be “knocked out”.

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