Diagnosis of Concussion

In order to make an accurate diagnosis of concussion doctors need to first ensure that there are no other life-threatening injuries as a result of the trauma to the head. Your doctor will require information about:

  • The History of the Injury – The manner of the occurrence, how long did the loss of consciousness last (if any)
  • Past Medical History – Details regarding prescription and over-the-counter medication, especially blood thinners and aspirin, information about any allergies, prior head injury, past surgeries or medical procedures and any history of bleeding disorders.
Following this your doctor will conduct a thorough physical examination to assess reflexes, check your mental state and cognitive functioning. He will also check for any other injuries, in particular to the neck and spine and inspect for bleeding and fluid leakage from the ears and nose. The best tests for concussion are:

  • CT scan in cases of severe head trauma
  • Skull x-rays
  • MRI of the head
  • EEG
Results of these tests should determine the reason for a concussion and the extent of damage by the head injury. Since concussions affect the functioning of the brain temporarily, it is essential that the doctor should examine and assess the patient on more than one occasion. 
  1. Bruce J. Diamond, Samuel C. Shiflett, Nancy Feiwel, Robert J. Matheis, Olga Noskin, Jennifer A. Richards, Nancy E. Schoenberger, Ginkgo biloba extract: Mechanisms and clinical indications, Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Volume 81, Issue 5, May 2000, Pages 668-678, ISSN 0003-9993, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0003-9993(00)90052-2.