How soon can the symptoms of a concussion appear, and how long can they be delayed?

Dr. Michael Lovich

Answered February 27, 2020

Concussion symptoms occur from the dysfunction in the neural circuits within the brain, brainstem, and cerebellum, and with their connections to the body.

The primary insult to the brain during concussion and the physiological changes occur during the time of impact (if a traumatic brain injury). However, symptoms, which are the subjective experience perceived by your brain, are dependent on your brain’s ability to cope with the physiological changes and respond to challenges and changes in your environment.

A high functioning brain may not exhibit symptoms for months to years, until a secondary insult reduces the brain’s ability to cope and make appropriate compensations. Some brains can’t cope at all and exhibit symptoms right away.

Reducing stress may sound like it makes sense, but it doesn’t really address the primary problem: functional dis-connectivity within brain circuits combined with an cellular energy stability issue.

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