Concussion can be caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. Whether from a sports injury, a slip or fall or another incident, concussion can happen to anyone.
Every minute, approximately four people in the United States experience a concussion,1 yet it is estimated up to 50 percent of all mild brain injuries go unreported.2 Knowing about concussion and getting diagnosed early is key to getting the right treatment for a person to recover and better his/her chances of returning safely to activities he/she most enjoys.
The problem is there are a lot of misconceptions about concussions. In fact, new survey data shows that a large number of adults in the U.S. lack basic understanding about concussion signs and symptoms, risk and treatment.
Abbott's new Concussion IQ Survey polled more than 1,000 adults in the United States and revealed that the majority of American adults aren't concussion-savvy. Key findings include:
"Based on the survey results, it's clear there's a need to build more awareness and understanding about concussion," said Dr. Beth McQuiston, Board-Certified Neurologist and Medical Director, Diagnostics, Abbott. "We want to educate and empower everyone – parents, athletes, coaches and beyond – to be able to recognize the signs of concussion to help people seek the proper care and rest."
Unlike other injuries you can feel with your hands or see on an X-ray, concussions can be tricky to diagnose, as Dr. McQuiston points out in this FoxNews.com article. The article tells the story of a former high-school basketball player who suffered consecutive concussions and started a nonprofit organization to raise awareness about the condition.
Currently, there is no fool-proof way to diagnose a mild brain injury, and while imaging such as CT scans can help, the majority of these scans can appear normal even when an injury has occurred. Because of this, many concussions go undiagnosed and untreated.
To address this issue, Abbott is partnering with the U.S. Department of Defense with the goal of developing a blood test capable of evaluating potential concussions. Currently in development, the test will be designed to detect specific proteins in the blood associated with brain injury and will be used on Abbott's i-STAT – a handheld, portable analyzer that is used to perform a broad range of common blood tests.
So, what's your concussion IQ?
Could you spot the signs of a concussion? Answer these statements true or false to find out:
To learn more about concussions, including Abbott's new Concussion IQ Survey, check out these resources:
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