In the immediate aftermath of a concussion, there may be some structural damage at the microscopic level with some cell death. However, the primary problem is a chemical one in the cells that have survived the incident.
John Doherty goes on to explain via the research of David Hovda, PhD at UCLA.
When there is a sufficient blow to the brain, the membranes of the affected nerve cells in the brain are stretched or twisted, allowing potassium to exit those cells, which triggers those cells to depolarize, thus the phenomenon of seeing stars if the affected area is involved with sight or ringing in the ears if the affected area is involved with hearing. The exit of potassium (K+) peaks approximately two minutes after the incident but continues for another 3-4 minutes.
Then, until the chemical balance is somewhat restored, Continue reading