Multiple Concussions Raise Teen Athletes' Health
SATURDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- High school athletes who
have suffered two or more concussions may already have early
symptoms of 'post-concussion syndrome,' according to a new
U.S. researchers looked at rates of symptoms in 260 athletes
with one previous concussion, 105 with two or more previous
concussions and 251 with no history of concussion. None of the
concussions had occurred within the four-month period before the
Not surprisingly, rates of concussion-related symptoms were
higher among athletes with previous concussions, but the finding
was particularly true for those with two or more concussions.
When the investigators adjusted for other factors, they found
that compared with athletes with either no concussion history or
one previous concussion, athletes with two or more previous
concussions were more likely to have a cluster of the following
three types of symptoms:
- Intellectual symptoms, also called cognitive symptoms, such as
memory problems or feeling "mentally foggy."
- Physical symptoms, including headaches and problems with
balance or feeling dizzy.
- Sleep symptoms, which could mean sleeping either more or less
than they normally would.
Among all three groups of athletes, no differences were noted in
terms of emotional symptoms, such as irritability or sadness.
The study was released online in advance of publication in an
upcoming print issue of the journal
The researchers noted that the symptoms seen in high school
athletes who've suffered two or more concussions are similar to
those seen in retired professional athletes with a history of
concussion. Recently, an autopsy of an 18-year-old high school
athlete also showed evidence of a degenerative brain disease --
chronic traumatic encephalopathy -- which has been linked to
experiencing multiple concussions while playing pro sports,
according to background material in the study.
The findings should "serve as a caution for parents, coaches,
and sports medicine personnel supervising high school and other
youth athletes with a history of concussion," wrote the
researchers, led by Philip Schatz, of Saint Joseph's University in
Philadelphia, the International Brain Research Foundation in
Edison, N.J., and the Sports Concussion Center of New Jersey.
In addition, "these study results support the recent surge in
advocacy on state and federal governmental levels to establish
youth concussion management programs and to better regulate the
rules of youth sports," they concluded in a journal news
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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