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What can happen from multiple concussions?

Scientific studies in athletes who have sustained multiple concussions have shown that there is increased risk of long-term impairment of memory and thinking in athletes who have sustained 3 or more concussions. 

There is also the controversial condition of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or "Pugilist's Dementia," a dementing illness that is much like Alzheimer's. This condition has been reported in boxers and professional football players, however the cause and effect relationships have not been completely worked out at this point. 

The most serious consequence of multiple concussions is when the repeat concussion occurs during the recovery period form a preivous concussion. In this situation, a condition known as "Second Impact Syndrome" may occur which is acute swelling of the brain from the multiple trauma. Second Impact Syndrome is fatal about 50% of the time, and 100% of survivors have serious neurologic deficts. Fortunately, Second Impact Syndrome is very rare. On the other hand, in sports it is preventable by implementing a good concussion management program and promoting the cultural change of prioritizing recovery over gameplay in sport-related concussion. 

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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.