Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Dr. Lee Baugh

Second Advisor

Dr. Thayne Munce

Third Advisor

Dr. Verle Valentine


Mild Traumatic Brain Injury; Concussion; Biomechanical Forces; Diagnosis; Symptoms; Assessments; Treatment; Return to Play


A mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion, affects millions of athletes on a yearly basis. A mTBI is the result of biomechanical forces, such as acceleration and deceleration, acting on the skull and brain. These forces create acute neurological injuries throughout the brain. The consequences of mTBI are apparent in multiple common medical practices. Sideline assessments and clinical evaluations used in diagnosis are based largely on the signs and symptoms which arise as consequences of mTBI. Treatments, including symptom management and a gradual return to play, are further based on controlling the signs and symptoms of mTBI. The purpose of this article is to display how an understanding of the pathophysiological implications of mTBI is critical to providing an accurate diagnosis and the proper treatment.



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