As Gwinnett Medical Center's Concussion Institute marks its fifth anniversary on Sunday, patient volume is up 211 percent since year one.

"The CI was the first comprehensive concussion care center in the Southeast in 2013," said Kristin Crea, Director of GMC's Sports Medicine Program and Concussion Institute. "Most people weren't even aware that there was such a thing as a concussion specialist. Awareness of that has begun to change, and more people are seeking support of our specialized team rather that seeing general practitioners for concussion treatment."

There were 1,422 visits during the first year, starting in 2013. During fiscal year 2018, GMC's Concussion Institute had 3,109 patient visits.

GMC's Concussion Institute

Here are the five most common symptoms of concussion:

  1. Headache
  2. Dizziness/Foggy
  3. Sensitive to Light & Sound
  4. Sleep Disturbance
  5. Mood Changes

GMC's Concussion Institute offers diagnosis, treatment and baseline tests.

"A baseline measures your individual brain's neurocognitive norms pre-injury," explained Crea. "In the event of a concussion or brain injury, doctors can conduct a post-injury test to determine what parts of the brain are most affected to develop the most effective course of treatment."

Crea said more people understand the importance of seeking medical treatment for concussions rather than just “shaking them off” and pushing through the symptoms.

"When the Concussion Institute opened, we focused on treating athletic injuries," Crea said. "But now we are seeing as many, if not more, patients with concussions from vehicle accidents, slips and falls, and work-related injuries. Concussions can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone."