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Concussion Symptoms, Signs, and Risks

Concussion symptoms vary, depending on risk factors and the force of impact that caused the injury.

Most people (nearly 90 percent) complain of headaches and fatigue.

Common Symptoms of Concussions

According to UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program's research, common signs of a concussion fall under four main groups:

​Migraine ​Cognitive ​Sleep Disturbance ​Neuropsychiatric
  • Headache
  • Visual problems
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness​
  • Attention problems
  • Memory dysfunction
  • Fogginess
  • Fatigue
  • Cognitive slowing ​
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sleeping less than normal
  • Sleeping more than normal​
  • Increased emotionality
  • Sadness
  • Irritability
  • Nervousness​

Concussion Risk Factors

UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program research, with nearly 100 published works since 2000, has shown that people in certain clusters or groups were more at risk for a concussion and protracted recovery times.

These may include:

  • People with a history of migraines
  • People with a history of a learning disability
  • People with frequent cerebral concussions
  • Females

Concussion Recovery Time

Cutoff scores from specific parts of ImPACT™ (Immediate Postconcussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) show, in roughly 85 percent of cases, that recovery from a concussion may require a month or longer.

  • Athletes who experience on-field dizziness immediately after sustaining a concussion are seven times more likely to face recovery periods of at least a month.
  • Fogginess and migraine-related symptoms occurring three or more days after the injury indicate the recovery period can last at least a month.

Contact the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program

Call 412-432-3681 to schedule an appointment with a concussion expert or to learn more about our services.

Additional Concussion Resources

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