Signs and symptoms of mild traumatic brain injury and concussion

Symptoms may appear up to 48 hours after an incident that may have caused a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) or concussion. Symptoms can vary from one person to another, even in situations where the context and the injury are similar.

Warning notice

Urgent warning signals

Warning signs may appear during this period. In such cases, an evaluation at a hospital emergency department is required as quickly as possible.

Symptoms often experienced by the participant or observed by others present

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue, sleep difficulties
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Dizziness, vertigo
  • Feeling slowed down
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Blurred vision
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • An unusual high level of irritability, sadness, etc.
  • Nervousness, anxiety
  • Neck pain
  • Trouble remembering words, or repetitive speech

This list is not exhaustive and other symptoms may be observed.

If there are symptoms, please refer to the section entitled What to do following an incident involving a blow to the head.

Warning signs requiring an immediate medical evaluation at a hospital emergency department (911)

  • Loss or deterioration of consciousness
  • Confusion
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Convulsions
  • Worsening headaches
  • Significant drowsiness
  • Difficulty walking, speaking, recognizing people or places
  • Double vision
  • High state of agitation, excessive crying
  • Serious balance problems
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in arms or legs
  • Intense neck pain

Last update: April 11, 2023


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