Concussion Research Results

Daybreak's Sarah Nelson reports on the research and treatment for youth sports head injuries and concussions.

When it comes to a concussion, there are certain precautions and protocols in place for treatment, but what about head injuries in general?
Those may be needed after results of a new study show that your child may still experience brain changes by taking repeated blows to the head, even if they never suffered a concussion.

Researchers at Wake Forest University recorded the head impacts of football players between eight and 13 years old.
After one season, the players who had the most hits to the head showed changes in brain white matter; and that's what helps connect different areas of the brain.
These players had no signs or symptoms of a concussion.
Experts say the changes could eventually resolve, but more studies are needed.

As for treatment, a new study finds that despite improvements in recovery, many kids still don't get nearly enough time to do so.
Researchers found 38-percent return to play the same day they were injured and these kids tended to have milder symptoms immediately after being hurt , but ended up with severe nausea, dizziness, balance, and concentration problems by the time they got treatment.
Researchers say these findings should remind parents and coaches that 'when in doubt, sit them out.'

As for types of recovery, Canadian researchers implemented a gradual aerobic treadmill test to monitor pediatric concussion patients at various times during their recovery.
Now this type of test is typically used for adults, but this is the first study to focus on young athletes.
The test accurately assessed the adolescents' physical healing, helped doctors determine the type of concussion each athlete suffered and didn't cause any serious complications.

And teens who get a collaboration of medical care and behavioral therapy after a concussion may recover more quickly than those who get medical care alone.
A study from Seattle Children's Hospital assigned teen patients to one form of care following a concussion... and they found that although all patients showed improvement over the next six months, only the collaborative care group continued to have fewer symptoms.
Larger clinical trials are still needed though.

(NBC Contributed)

© 2017 NBCNEWS.COM


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