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Jan 26, 2021
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Many people live with concussion symptoms

More than 31 thousand young people – cadets and student athletes – took part in the new study. None of them had a concussion, but they all underwent routine screening for symptoms of the condition. Along with this, the scientists collected medical data about the participants.

More than half of the study participants reported having at least one sign of a recent concussion. In 11-27% of the participants, the symptoms were so pronounced that they met the criteria for diagnosing post-concussion syndrome. Their largest share was among female cadets (27.6%), the smallest – among male athletes (11.4%).

What is post-concussion syndrome

Post-concussion syndrome (from Lat. Commotio – concussion) is a complex of symptoms that can be found in a person within weeks or months after a concussion. Such a diagnosis is made with a decrease in cognitive abilities (memory, ability to concentrate, thinking speed) after head injuries. The syndrome is accompanied by prolonged headache, dizziness, weakness, and sleep disturbances.

Where do these symptoms come from?

An analysis of the medical data on the study participants showed that the most common signs of post-commozmonic syndrome were found in people who did not sleep well the night before the test. The most important factors associated with the onset of signs of concussion were mental disorders (depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), stress, and migraines. In addition, signs of concussion were more common in students with academic problems and in their first year.

“The numbers were great. They are consistent with previously available data, but still shocking. Elite athletes who are physically fit experience so many symptoms that are commonly reported after a concussion. That is, ordinary people may have even more of them, ”said Jacqueline Caccese (Jacqueline Caccese), associate professor at Ohio State University, co-author of the study.

Concussion symptoms confuse

The fact that signs of post-concussion syndrome can appear without a concussion makes it difficult for sports doctors to work. Athletes are allowed to return to competition after the concussion if they have no signs of the effects. However, research shows that many of them appear in sufficient quantity to diagnose PCs for other reasons.

“When a concussion patient comes to a neurological clinic a month after the concussion, we need to know if he has had these symptoms before in order to understand their real cause. Then we can start treating the symptoms associated with the concussion to help the person get better, ”explained Caccese. She added that in the future, she and her colleagues intend to select a group of symptoms most characteristic of concussion.


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