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The Evolution of Our Understanding of Concussion, otherwise Called Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

I have been blogging over the holidays about concussions because once again they have been in the news. As discussed on this blog, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach was fired because of his forced isolation of wide receiver Adam James after he was diagnosed with a concussion. See also my comment on a related issue on one of my Brain Injury Lawyer Blog:

With these stories bringing concussion back in the headlines, it seems appropriate to spend the next several blogs discussing the evolution of how our medical community has viewed concussion. Prior to about 1990, there was almost universal ignorance in the medical community about concussion. Most textbooks and learned treatises which neurologists, emergency room doctors and medical students relied on, simply had it wrong. Among the most significant mistakes was the belief that an individual had to be unconscious to have suffered a brain injury. That significantly began to change with the publication of a definition of mild traumatic brain injury in 1992 by the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. (Definition of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, Developed by the Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Committee of the Head Injury Interdisciplinary Special Interest Group of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. J Head Trauma Rehabil 1993:8(3):86-87)

That definition is found at

To understand where we need to go with continuing improvement in the diagnosis of brain injury, I think it is important that we understand where we have come from. Thus, I created a series of lectures on this topic, found on my YouTube page The first of those lectures can be found at:

In this series of blogs, I will discuss the topics of each of those videos.

Attorney Gordon Johnson
Chair Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group, American Association of Justice

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