Definition of Physiology- Study of how animals function on the macro and micro level (Dr. Michael Dorcas, class lecture)

Purpose: This website is an attempt to review current research concerning the mechanism and effects of mild traumatic brain injury/concussions.

How Big is the Issue

Concussions are one of the most common of all brain related injuries with over 300,000 occurring each year solely within the American football population (American Association of Neurological Surgeons). Concussions are also common in other sports such as soccer, martial arts, and wrestling (American Association of Neurological Surgeons). This on top of the concussions related to vehicle related accidents and falls within the home and workplace (American Association of Neurological Surgeons) make concussions extremely prevalent and an issue that should continually be explored.

Introduction to Concussionsbrain

Concussions occur when the brain experiences a forceful collision with the inside of the skull, see image 1 (Mayo Clinic). This may be caused by violent collisions such as car crashes or impacts experienced in sports, see Image and Video 1 (Mayo Clinic). There are multiple definitions of what exactly constitutes a concussion presented in recent research, leading to the conclusion that there is currently no widely accepted definition of what constitutes a concussion. The literature instead focuses on mild traumatic brain injury when discussing concussive injuries (Ruff, 2011; Vagnozzi et al., 2010). The variability in definitions as well as diagnostics has increased the difficulty of discussing concussions and their effects (Ruff, 2011).

Complicating Factors

The diagnosis and treatment of concussions is also complicated by an overlap of academic disciplines: psychology and biology (Ruff, 2011), and the fact that symptoms may include the physical (Martini, et al., 2011) and the psychological (Ruff, 2011).


"This website was created as a part of a class project in the Animal Physiology Class at Davidson College"