Clinical reviews

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Concussion associated with head trauma in athletes

Conmoción cerebral asociado a un traumatismo craneoencefálico en los deportistas


Recently, there has been increased attention to concussions that occur during sports activities, both at school level or amateur and professional level. Concussion is defined as a sudden and transient alteration of consciousness induced by traumatic biomechanical forces transmitted directly or indirectly to the brain. Such injuries most commonly occur in contact sports such as boxing, football, soccer, wrestling, hockey, among others. Concussion should be suspected in any athlete who suffers a head injury, whether or not it is associated to loss of consciousness. These athletes should not return to their sports activities immediately, and a few days of mental and physical leave are recommended in order to ensure full recovery. Repeat head injuries should be avoided, since there is evidence that in some athletes they can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The present review focuses on the different definitions of concussion, management and long-term consequences. It also contains the Spanish version of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2).