We used to think even just five years ago that a concussion was just a very temporary kind of change that was happening in your brain. We are now starting to see more and more research suggesting that a concussion, because it is a brain injury, actually causes changes in the wiring of the brain. My name is Naznin Virji-Babul. I’m a neuroscientist and I study concussions at the University of British Columbia. [Music] A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury. So the front of the brain actually crashes against the front of the skull and then bangs into the back of the skull. Because the brain is so soft and like jelly, it actually in addition to moving back and forth inside the skull, it actually also rotates and what happens is that there are fibers between the two lobes of the brain and they start to get stretched and we see little micro tears that occur in between the fibers of the two parts of the brain. So this injury affects all parts of the brain. People often complain about headaches, they complain about visual problems, dizziness, nausea, feeling extremely tired. Many people actually describe that they feel like they’re in a fog after they’ve had a concussion and they just can’t seem to clear that fog out of their mind. A lot of people also have trouble of focusing and paying attention after they’ve had a concussion. A lot of people find that they are either a lot more emotional after they’ve had their concussion or they feel less emotional and depending on how long the symptoms actually last, they start to often have mental health issues. They feel very isolated. There’s so many different symptoms. It’s hard to find one test that will actually say, ‘yes, for sure you have a concussion and somebody else doesn’t.’ The damage that’s happening in the brain can continue up to 72 hours after the initial concussion so people don’t always necessarily feel the concussion symptoms right at the point of where they’ve been hit for instance and the symptoms as a result may appear at different times. The worst thing that people can do is to sit in a dark room and just rest for a prolonged period of time, because we now know that that really prolongs the symptoms of concussion. So now the recommendation is to rest for about 24 to 48 hours and then gradually start to go back to activity, whether it’s back to school or back to work. [Music] Having one concussion makes people more vulnerable to actually getting repeated concussions, so it will take the brain much longer to actually recover from that injury. What we’re also now seeing is that multiple concussions can lead to future neuro degeneration. So there is a link with multiple concussions and the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, for instance, Parkinson’s disease. I think it’s really important that we continue to study concussions.