Most children will recover fully from concussion, but one in ten has persistent symptoms.
University of Queensland researchers have just completed a study between these symptoms and long-term disability risk, and the results are striking.
Poor sleep post-concussion in particular was linked to reduced brain function and decreased grey matter, with fatigue and attention difficulties also being potential indicators.
Using information on reductions in brain function, researchers were able to predict with 86 percent accuracy how children would recover two months from sustaining a concussion.
“Generally, children with persistent concussion symptoms will have alterations to their visual, motor and cognitive brain regions but we don’t have a clear understanding of how this develops and how it relates to future recovery,” said study author and UQ Child Health Research Centre Research Fellow, Dr Kartik Iyer.
“This knowledge can help clinicians ensure a child receives targeted rehabilitation such as cognitive behaviour therapy, medication to improve sleep, or safe and new emerging therapies such as non-invasive brain stimulation to potentially reduce symptoms.”
The researchers also reiterated the importance of seeking professional medical advice immediately after children sustain a head injury, as well as the use of protective head gear during sport and other risky activities.
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Source: Medical Xpress