Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Brain still injured from concussion after symptoms fade

Date:
November 20, 2013
Source:
American Academy of Neurology (AAN)
Summary:
After a mild concussion, special brain scans show evidence of brain abnormalities four months later, when symptoms from the concussion have mostly dissipated, according to research published.

After a mild concussion, special brain scans show evidence of brain abnormalities four months later, when symptoms from the concussion have mostly dissipated, according to research published in the November 20, 2013, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

"These results suggest that there are potentially two different modes of recovery for concussion, with the memory, thinking and behavioral symptoms improving more quickly than the physiological injuries in the brain," said study author Andrew R. Mayer, PhD, of the Mind Research Network and University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque.

Mayer further suggests that healing from concussions may be similar to other body ailments such as recovering from a burn. "During recovery, reported symptoms like pain are greatly reduced before the body is finished healing, when the tissue scabs. These finding may have important implications about when it is truly safe to resume physical activities that could produce a second concussion, potentially further injuring an already vulnerable brain."

Mayer noted that standard brain scans such as CT or MRI would not pick up on these subtle changes in the brain. "Unfortunately, this can lead to the common misperception that any persistent symptoms are psychological."

The study compared 50 people who had suffered a mild concussion to 50 healthy people of similar age and education. All the participants had tests of their memory and thinking skills and other symptoms such as anxiety and depression two weeks after the concussion, as well as brain scans. Four months after the concussion, 26 of the patients and 26 controls repeated the tests and scans.

The study found that two weeks after the injury the people who had concussions had more self-reported problems with memory and thinking skills, physical problems such as headaches and dizziness, and emotional problems such as depression and anxiety than people who had not had concussions. By four months after the injury, the symptoms were significantly reduced by up to 27 percent.

The people who had concussions also had evidence of abnormalities in the gray matter in the frontal cortex area of both sides of the brain, based on the diffusion tensor imaging scans. The increase equated to about 10 percent compared to the healthy people in the study. These abnormalities were still apparent four months after the concussion. In contrast, there was no evidence of cellular loss on scans.

Mayer said possible explanations for the brain abnormalities could be cytotoxic edema, which results from changes in where fluids are located in and around brain cells, or reactive gliosis, which is the change in glial cells' shape in response to damage to the central nervous system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Academy of Neurology (AAN). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Josef M. Ling, Stefan Klimaj, Trent Toulouse, and Andrew R. Mayer. A prospective study of gray matter abnormalities in mild traumatic brain injury. Neurology, November 2013

Cite This Page:

American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Brain still injured from concussion after symptoms fade." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 November 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120192149.htm>.
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). (2013, November 20). Brain still injured from concussion after symptoms fade. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120192149.htm
American Academy of Neurology (AAN). "Brain still injured from concussion after symptoms fade." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131120192149.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

Corporal Punishment on Decline, Debate Renews

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Corporal punishment in the United States is on the decline, but there is renewed debate over its use after Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson was charged with child abuse. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
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