The Molecular Pathophysiology of Concussion

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After a concussion, a series of complex, overlapping, and disruptive events occur within the brain, leading to symptoms and behavioral dysfunction. These events include ionic shifts, damaged neuronal architecture, higher concentrations of inflammatory chemicals, increased excitatory neurotransmitter release, and cerebral blood flow disruptions, leading to a neuronal crisis. This review summarizes the translational aspects of the pathophysiologic cascade of postconcussion events, focusing on the role of excitatory neurotransmitters and ionic fluxes, and their role in neuronal disruption. We review the relationship between physiologic disruption and behavioral alterations, and proposed treatments aimed to restore the balance of disrupted processes.

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