Teenagers and sport concussions
Recent research shows that teenagers are more sensitive and have worse outcomes when they suffer sport concussions. It’s interesting to note that the research found that a first concussion will result in six months to a year of neurophysiological side effects, regardless of age category. Dysfunction can be seen in working memory and the ability to sustain attention and focus, but adolescents are affected more by injury. This is in contrast to most current thinking which theorizes that adolescents have more resilient brain tissue.
I’ve had the opportunity to see some adolescent concussions in my practice, but have much more experience with adolescent whiplash and motor vehicle related concussions. There is much research on this topic and much of it applies to both sport induced concussions and motor vehicle concussions. From an anecdotal point of view I can certainly agree with the research, we certainly need to take a much more proactive approach to teens and sports.
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