For the purposes of this question, I will use the example of a legally sanctioned athletic contest (i.e., a boxing match), rather than criminal activity or accidents, but the question certainly applies to any brain trauma that has similar effects.

Anyone who watches boxing and other fighting sports knows that when a fighter is hit hard in the head or face, a few things are very likely to happen (links lead to videos showing examples of the effect in question):

Obviously, when the face or head suffers a strong, sudden impact from the front, back, or sides (or, in cases like an uppercut punch, from below, and to the bottom of the chin), momentum causes the brain to strike one or more surfaces inside the skull, so there is some mechanical/physical injury going on - in short, the person who was hit has a concussion. I know that this can cause significant, long-term damage to the brain and nervous system, but I am interested in the short-term, immediate effects.

Is this physical/mechanical injury the sole reason we see the symptoms I've described above? Are there separate processes taking place (e.g., abnormal electrical/chemical activity causing the symptoms described above)? Or does the physical/mechanical injury cause other types of abnormal activity in the brain/nervous system?

In short, do we know what is happening inside the brain after a hard blow, causing such pronounced effects, described above, in the rest of the body?


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