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A Research on The Methods Used to Research The Effects of Concussions on Brain Activity and Cognition

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The American mTBI committee refer to concussions as “mild insult to the head” allied totransitory juncture of oblivion which results to impairment in cognitive function. It is associated with numerous symptoms that range from depression, headache, fatigue, irritability and anxiety among others. These symptoms are also referred to as “Post-Concussion syndrome (PCS)”. These systems in many individuals resolve after three months. Some people however suffer from these syndromes for more than a year. Individuals who experience persistence concussions are said to experience persistent PCS and are estimated to be 15% of all the individuals who have experienced a first time concussion. Concussions are related to cognitive impairment and these impairments within the cognitive domain have been said to range from learning and memory, executive functions to attention and the speed of processing among other dysfunctions. Evidence indicates that the mechanism of neurology is susceptible to disruption by a single concussion. The impairments are said to be robust thus they can easily be detected in the first phase of occurrence. However, the research that has been carried out is not conclusive on the long-term effects of the mTBI. However, various changes are said to occur in the brain with the occurrence of a concussion. These changes may include the alteration of the white matter edifice and role e.g. diffuse axonal injury, neurometabolic cascades with characteristics in alteration in neurotransmitter activities that lead to alteration in cognitive excitability. This research paper is aimed at identifying the methods to use in researching about effects of concussions on brain activity and cognition. It will also explain the results of my research making use of an annotated bibliography.


Concussions, famously known as “mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI),” are common distressing head wounds. They are characterized by anxiety, fatigue, depression, impaired cognitive function and irritability. Their symptoms become profound and noticeable after 3 months with an exception of a number of persons who suffer from recurrent post-concussions. mTBI are characterized by dynamics in pathophysiology. Nonetheless, there is a low turnout of the number of persons experiencing the symptoms. Concussions are said to have a variety of effects on brain functioning and cognition. This research paper aims at identifying these effects and how they affect the activity of the brain as well as cognition

Search Strategies

Literature was broadly searched for with an aim of identifying the key terms and search terms for the concepts of cognitive impairment and concussion. Information on the topic can be found in various disciplines such as medicine, sociology and psychology. CINAHL, Medline/Ovid and Embase are the electronic database used for the review. The keywords or the search terms were then organized in the table 1 below

Study was carried out to prove if an injury characterized as mild can have an effect on cognitive ability. mTBI individuals were tested to investigate their performance on Stroop. In a control experiment, the mTBI individuals had a worse performance. This indicates that the mild injury that can be compared to a concussion leads to impaired cognitive performance. However, factors like the period of injury were not considered which might have otherwise given different results

The aim was to investigate the range of symptoms exhibited by mTBI and TBI patients both moderate and severe. A checklist for NSI was used. Similar results were exhibited. With controlled PTSD symptoms severity on mTBI patients, there were less complains compared to patients with moderate to severe TBI. It was concluded that there is a role played by emotive symptoms in grievances of slightly injured patients. The study is relevant to my research since it indicates the range of symptoms on concussion patients and their effect. However, the injuries inflicted might not be as similar as those of a normal concussion thus the study might yield slightly different results. The study can be compared to that of investigating Traumatic axonal injury in humans, and the manifestation of TAI since both of them have a common interest in investigating axonal injuries both in humans and rats

Here, blunt and blast were investigated on cognitive performance which can be equated to the severity of concussions. It was found out that there is no main consequence of severity. However, an observation of the visual memory, there was an interaction amidst mechanism and severity in that a comparison with TBI persons involved in the non-blast case, there was a better performance of TBI persons associated with a mild blast. In contrast, TBI persons with a history of severe blast indicated the worst performance. However, the extent of severity was not defined such that both extremes and mild cases were not put into consideration. This study can be compared to that of investigating verbal encoding impairment in humanscontingentto how austere the damage is. This is because both show that repeated concussions which have similar effects to severe blast on the cognitive ability of humans.

The study aimed to investigate the time taken for full recovery of athletes who suffered from concussions. With the use of a computerized neuropsychological battery, it was discovered that they recovered within 3-7 days after the injury. This explains why they have to take a one week recovery period. The study is relevant to my research in that it indicates that persons suffering from concussions have their cognitive performance affected and thus they have to be given enough recovery time. The study was however carried on athletes only to parallel the general case of concussions even in the players involved in other games. The effects might be slightly different or even the same if a sample of players in other games were taken into account. This study can be compared to that of investigating the time that mTBI patients both kids and adults take to recover.

This study was to investigate the verbal encoding deficit inmTBI patients. Individuals were placed on semantic clustering aimed at providing a verbal learning test. The samples were individuals with a concussion of a day, after 48hours and after one week. From the study, it was learnt that individuals who had concussed made use of less semantic clusters. This proved that their brains were impaired affecting their verbal encoding ability which made the study relevant to my research. The main demerit of the study was that the recovery period which is different for each was not considered thus the results exhibited might not have been absolute. The study can be compared to that of investigating blunt and blast on cognitive performance. Both studies show the extent of damage that can be caused on cognitive ability.

Here, concussion was studied I relation to structural damage of traumatic axonal injury. It was realized that the manifestation of TAI does not take place immediately following an injury. It was also realized that structural damage is intensified by the pathogenesis that follows an injury on mTBI patients. The relevance of the study to my research was that the study showed the effect of several concussions on a patient indicating that the level of damage continues to intensify. The main disadvantage was that it was not investigated to show whether the patients in question were suffering from something else which could intensify the damage rather than the obvious issue of concussions. This study can be compared to that of investigating injuries that affect cognitive ability in rats.

The indication of the study is that kids recover from the effects of concussions faster than adults who take between 3 to 12 months. It was also discovered that adults with a history of concussion and have symptoms that extend beyond the 3-12 months’ timeframe usually suffer from litigation or compensation factors. The study was essential to my research since it shows that concussions have diverse effects on adults and that the damage superimposed their cognitive ability is real and the patient has to be given enough time to recover. The main disadvantage of the study was that it was so much based on rehabilitation than the actual effects of concussions. The research can be compared to that of investigating the time that athletes must be given to recover in that people who have had their cognitive ability altered by concussions need time to recover. This book was my best in the research. It acted as my primary source of information since the info in it was detailed and straight to the point. The purpose intended for the information in this books was well achieved.

The study was targeted at examining injuries that may make a contribution to cognitive impairment in the brain of a mouse. There was the use of male mice which were put into two separate groups of sham-operated and mTBI groups. There was no difference in behaviour noted. Severe axonal damages indicate that mTBI mice indicated extensive axonal damage in comparison with the sham-operated. The study is relevant to my research since it indicates the effects of damage on the brain to the cognitive function which is similar to a concussion. The research was however not specific to the concussion but just a relationship. However, I did not use this study in my research since it is more based on animals than people.

Research Process Journal

With the study purpose, a scoping was performed as contrasting to systematic review. Scoping review is defined as a method of synthesizing knowledge aimed at addressing an exploratory research question with the aim of main mapping ideas in research via systematic search, selection and synthesis of the present information. On the other hand, a systematic review is aimed at determining what is known in a specified research area aimed at making recommendations for medical practice. The study includes an evocative arithmetical summary as well as a qualitative approach as conflicting to a quantitative approach. A lot of research has been done on the topic, and a lot of conflicting information exists. Therefore, one has to do a lot of research and compare different forms of research from trusted sources to come up with concrete information. However, the trusted sources have very limited material on the topic thus my research had to be very extensive. The little information that was obtained at the beginning of the research was essential since it acted as a breakthrough to identify the relevant materials where I could obtain the rest of the information.

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