HEALTHY LIVING
12/17/2012 12:15 pm ET

Concussion: What Are The Effects Of Hillary Clinton's Mild Brain Injury?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is still recovering after fainting and suffering a concussion, according to news reports.

People reported that Clinton, 65, fell at her home last week because she was dehydrated. However, it took several days after her fall until she was diagnosed with a concussion.

"She has been recovering at home and will continue to be monitored regularly by her doctors," the State Department said in a statement, as reported by People. "At their recommendation, she will continue to work from home next week, staying in regular contact with Department and other officials."

A concussion occurs when there's a "mild" injury to the head, in the form of a blow, jolt or fall. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that even though concussions are considered "mild" because they don't usually kill, they can have lasting effects. Repeated concussions can ultimately cause problems with memory and concentration, and can lead to chronic headaches and balance problems.

Concussions do take time to heal, and there can be lasting effects that should be monitored. Rest is extremely important after a concussion, as it allows the brain healing time, the CDC said. Treatments, like taking ibuprofen or aspirin, could help relieve headache associated with concussion, according to the Mayo Clinic.

When a person suffers a concussion, he or she will experience temporary disruptions in brain functioning, in the form of headache, problems with alertness, drowsiness, confusion and even some memory loss, the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia reported. More serious signs of a concussion include having disturbances in eye movements or walking ability, muscle weakness and continued vomiting and confusion.

People may also lose consciousness after a concussion, though this is not always the case, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

In fact, instead of losing consciousness, people who have suffered a concussion may experience seeing stars, or their vision going white or black, the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia said.

For older adults, concussions may not be diagnosed immediately -- but the risk of complications for this age group is higher, the CDC pointed out. Specifically, brain bleeding, severe headaches and confusion are possible.

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