Previous studies may have suggested younger athletes may take longer to recover from concussions, but a new study from Vanderbilt University indicates this may not be the case. According to their findings, age does not play a significant role in the duration of concussion symptoms.
Fox News reports a study published in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatric claims age is not a significant factor, but is just one component in a much more complicated set of elements which determine who is most likely to experience long term or more severe symptoms following concussions.
“There are many other factors at work besides age,” lead author of the study Dr. Allen K. Sills, associate professor of neurosurgery at Vanderbilt, told Amanda Woerner. “In the past, people thought that age alone would determine these differences, and what we’re saying is age is not the only factor, it’s much more complex than that.”
The study examined the self-reported concussion symptoms of 92 athletes with ages ranging from 12 to 16, as well as 92 athletes aged 18 to 22. The overall findings showed no significant differences in symptom duration between the two age groups.
The team is not suggesting age is not a factor in anyway, but they are downgrading its significance within a set of more factors that all help determine who is likely to suffer longer symptoms. Other elements the team believe could be involved include family history of brain disease and previous history of concussions or other brain injuries.
“What we’re realizing is that…the brain’s response to that injury is very different in different individuals, which is why some have symptoms for only a short period of time while others will have a longer duration of symptoms,” Sills said. “And some will have certain types of symptoms and others will have very different symptoms.”