Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Study Shows Long-term Dangers Of Severe Concussions

Date:
March 4, 2009
Source:
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Summary:
More than a half million kids go to the hospital with concussions each year. Some are worse than others, but nearly all of them are treated exactly the same. Doctors depend on the patients to tell them when they feel better. A new study says that may not be enough.

It's well known that mild traumatic brain injuries and concussions are a common occurrence in children and adolescents, especially young athletes. But what researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital have found is that although not all concussions are the same, they are often treated in the same way – a potential problem when it comes to long-term health outcomes.

The research, published in the March issue of Pediatrics, studied a sample of nearly 200 children ages 8- to 15-years-old who suffered concussions. The study looks at the trajectory of the children's symptoms over the year after their injuries and found that one out of every four children in the study experienced significant post-concussive symptoms. Also, those with more severe concussions, such as those resulting in a loss of consciousness, post-traumatic amnesia, or an abnormal CT scan or MRI, were more likely to have symptoms that persisted.

Keith Yeates, PhD, director of the Center for Biobehavioral Health at The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital and the study's lead author, believes this study shows the need to classify concussions based on their severity as either high- or low-risk so patients can receive better treatment.

"This study provides reassurance for parents of kids who suffer first-time concussions because we can see that more often than not they recover fully within a short amount of time," said Dr. Yeates, also a professor of Pediatrics, Psychology and Psychiatry at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

"However, the study also shows that kids who are at risk because their concussions are more severe need to be monitored for a longer period of time as their symptoms may last longer."

Parents of kids suffering from severe or multiple concussions need to pay attention and track their child's symptoms across time. Post-concussive symptoms, according to Dr. Yeates, can be divided into three groups: somatic, cognitive, and emotional. Somatic symptoms like headaches and fatigue generally resolve themselves quickly. However, cognitive symptoms like trouble paying attention and forgetfulness may persist longer.

"Parents should pay particular attention to these symptoms when they last more than a month or two and report all ongoing symptoms to their child's doctor so they can intervene appropriately," said Dr. Yeates.

To better understand which kids may be at risk Doctor Yeates, of Nationwide Children's Hospital followed nearly 200 children with concussions for a year. His study, published in Pediatrics, found that while most kids had few problems, one out of every four experiences significant post concussive symptoms, some of which never fully resolved. And those whose concussions resulted in a loss of consciousness, amnesia or an abnormal CT scan were more likely to have symptoms that persist.

"We do know that there are kids at risk, and we can begin to identify them, monitor them over time and provide appropriate intervention and assistance if they have these symptoms," says Dr. Yeates.

Doctor Yeates believes classifying concussions as high risk or low risk may help physicians determine which patients need special attention, which could give them a better "shot" at a faster recovery. So how do you know if your child has suffered a concussion?

Concussion Case Study

It's estimated that more than a half million kids in the U.S. go to the hospital each year with a concussion.* That's an average of a kid per minute- every minute of every day. Some concussions are worse than others but it might surprise you to know that almost all of them are treated the same. New research is pointing toward a more sophisticated way of diagnosing and treating concussions in kids.

13 year old Dustin Edens had to work on his game by himself for a few days, after a recent run-in with a teammate during basketball practice.

"He drove right around the pick and came at me and hit me with his shoulder first, right into my chest, and my head bounced off the ground," says Dustin.

It was Dustin's third concussion in two months, although it might surprise you to know that it's often hard for doctors to tell where one concussion ends and another begins.

"We don't have tests that tell us when someone has recovered from their concussion," says Karl Klamar, MD at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Instead doctors have to rely mostly on patients to tell them when they feel better. Things like headaches, fatigue, and irritability can all be signs that the concussion is lingering, and in some cases they can linger a long time.

"There is this group of kids that are at risk and do seem to be able to continue to have these symptoms even up to a year after their injury," says Keith Yeates, PhD at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

For tips and symptoms you should watch for, log on it http://www.NationwideChildrens.org, keyword "concussion."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Nationwide Children's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Longitudinal Trajectories of Postconcussive Symptoms in Children With Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries and Their Relationship to Acute Clinical Status. Pediatrics, Volume 123, Number 3; March, 2009

Cite This Page:

Nationwide Children's Hospital. "New Study Shows Long-term Dangers Of Severe Concussions." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302090226.htm>.
Nationwide Children's Hospital. (2009, March 4). New Study Shows Long-term Dangers Of Severe Concussions. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 19, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302090226.htm
Nationwide Children's Hospital. "New Study Shows Long-term Dangers Of Severe Concussions." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302090226.htm (accessed September 19, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, September 19, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Cost of Ebola

The Cost of Ebola

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 18, 2014) As Sierra Leone prepares for a three-day "lockdown" in its latest bid to stem the spread of Ebola, Ciara Lee looks at the financial implications of fighting the largest ever outbreak of the disease. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

What HealthKit Bug Means For Your iOS Fitness Apps

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Apple has delayed the launch of the HealthKit app platform, citing a bug. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

U.S. Food Makers Surpass Calorie-Cutting Pledge

Newsy (Sep. 18, 2014) Sixteen large food and beverage companies in the United States that committed to cut calories in their products far surpassed their target. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

Residents Vaccinated as Haiti Fights Cholera Epidemic

AFP (Sep. 18, 2014) Haitians receive the second dose of the vaccine against cholera as part of the UN's vaccination campaign. Duration: 00:34 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins