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The American Academy of Neurology has expanded the definition of the acute or immediate signs of concussion. Symptoms of brain injury can be mild to severe with some symptoms showing up immediately and others not appearing until several days or weeks after the injury. The AAN categorizes the signs of concussion as follows:

Immediate Signs of Concussion
(Seen within seconds/minutes):
* Any loss of consciousness
* Impaired attention: vacant stare, delayed responses, inability to focus
* Lack of coordination
* Disorientation
* Emotional reactions out of proportion
* Memory problems

Later Signs of Concussion
If the following symptoms occur, hours or even days or weeks later, consult a neurologist:

* Persistent headache
* Dizziness/vertigo
* Poor attention and concentration
* Memory problems
* Nausea or vomiting
* Fatigue easily
* Irritability
* Intolerant of bright lights and/or loud noises
* Anxiety and/or depression
* Disturbed sleep

People with moderate to severe brain injury may have these same symptoms, as well as:

* Seizures
* Physical, cognitive or behavioral impairments that last for months or are permanent
* Prolonged unconscious state
* Coma

As the AAN recommends, if you or a family member suffers from any of the later signs of brain injury, please consult a physician who specializes in diagnosing and treating brain injuries. To discuss your legal rights, please contact an experienced brain injury attorney by clicking on the Ask an Attorney feature of this site.

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