Are Concussions Visible on MRIs or CT Scans?

It is completely possible to have suffered a concussion and it not be detected by a CT scan or MRI.

Personal injury attorney Dale Casares will discuss why these scans aren’t always effective at detecting a concussion.

Questions About a Possible Concussion? 

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Dale used to work for the insurance industry, now she helps clients fight insurance companies to recover reasonable settlements. Learn more about Dale’s unique experience.

Can Concussion be Detected on CT & MRI?

Can you see a concussion on a CT scan or a brain MRI? The answer is no. Hi, my name is Dale Casares. I am a personal injury attorney at Robinson and Henry.

I cannot tell you how many normal or negative brain MRIs and CT scans I’ve seen where my clients did still in fact suffer concussions.

The Purpose of MRI & CT Scans

So, almost always imaging is normal. An MRI and a CT scan are intended to rule out severe trauma like a fractured skull or significant swelling or massive bleeding. Those things that would be life threatening and require immediate surgery.

Brain Functioning 

Concussions don’t show up on MRI and CT scans. MRI and CT scans show anatomy like the physical anatomy of your brain, but not how your brain functions.

A concussed brain doesn’t bleed. So you don’t see it. A concussion doesn’t change the appearance of the brain, it just changes the function. So if a concussion isn’t diagnosed with an MRI or a CT scan how is it diagnosed?

How Concussions are Diagnosed

Well it’s diagnosed with symptoms. So I’m gonna run through some of those symptoms here.

Instant Symptoms
Now, immediate symptoms that may be seen by other people observing the person who is injured would be:
    • loss of consciousness
    • disorientation
    • confusion
    • slurred speech
    • difficulty paying attention
    • delayed verbal and motor responses
    • staring off
    • excessive emotions at or proportion to the circumstance
    • memory deficits
The person who suffered the injury, they may experience immediately:
    • headaches
    • dizziness
    • confusion
    • ringing in the hears
    • tinnitus
    • nausea
    • vomiting
    • visual changes
Delayed Symptoms

Now, it also should be noted that a brain injury, a concussion, is something that continues to develop. It’s not like a broken arm where the fracture just happens.

A brain injury develops overtime and can get worse. So other, these delayed symptoms may be:
    • memory disturbances
    • attention disturbances
    • concentration
    • irritability
    • sleep disturbances
    • personality changes – easily frustrated, more tearful
    • fatigue
    • persistent low-grade headache

So, some MRI, brain MRI and brain CT scans do not show concussions. Instead, concussions are diagnosed by symptoms and by observation.

Connect with Dale

If you have any questions about this my name is Dale Casares. You can send me an email to Thanks.

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