Previous Brain Injury Means Longer Recovery From More Recent TBI

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The risk of repeated brain injuries continues to get worse as a new study from Matthew A. Eisenberg, M.D., and his colleagues from Harvard Medical School has found that children who have suffered a brain injury within the past 12 months are more likely to experience longer symptomatic periods if they endure another concussion.

According to Science World Report, if a patient has a history of brain injury, the time for symptom resolution after a new TBI can more than double compared to the expected length.

The study observed children, average age of 14, to see how repeated traumatic brain injuries can affect recovery time. Over half of the participants were male, and close to two-thirds of the group had been injured during sports-related activities.

The researchers also kept track of the specific symptoms, and they found (unsurprisingly) that the most common presenting symptom were headaches, which 85-percent of the participants experienced. Fatigue and dizziness were also highly common symptoms, with 65 and 63-percent of the participants reporting these issues, respectively.

Perhaps one of the most interesting auxiliary findings of the study was that those involved who lost consciousness at the time of injury were associated with shorter recovery times. It was also discovered that the older age and higher severity for participants were also linked with longer recovery times.

The study, which was published in the online journal Pediatrics, reinforces how important it is that concussion patients be removed from sports-related activities and avoid any activities that may put them at higher risk for TBI. However, it was noted that 92-percent of the participants were advised to take time off from sports activities, which didn’t seem to keep them from dealing with multiple brain injuries. This suggests that parents have a high responsibility to keep their children away from unnecessary danger following a brain injury.

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