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What are long-term risks of concussions?

Even mild concussions can lead to long-term disabilities or effects, such as diminished senses, memory loss or mood swings. This is especially true when the concussions are sustained within a short passage of time.

A person is four times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease after a moderate injury, according to a Mayo Clinic study. The risk increases significantly if the head injuries are more severe, indicating that head trauma contributes to the development of Parkinson's in some people.

Christopher Giza, MD
Pediatrics
For most concussions there will be a full recovery, and the only situations where we worry about long-term risks is when people get repeated, multiple concussions without full recovery. For such cases, we are still trying to figure out what the actual risk is. All of our concussion management is aimed at trying to identify the athlete with injury and make sure there is a full recovery and then make a logical decision as to whether or not the individual can safely return to playing the sport. For example, there are collision sports where hitting each other is part of the game, and there are contact sports like soccer where players inadvertently run into each other and sustain injuries.
 
This content originally appeared online at UCLA Health.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.