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Multiple Concussions in Youth Tied to Variety of Greater Symptoms

Findings seen compared with student athletes aged 12 to 22 years with just one prior head injury

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 26, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Young patients with a history of multiple concussions report greater cognitive, sleep, and neuropsychiatric symptoms than those with one prior head injury, according to a study published online May 9 in the Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.

Addison Quinones, from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues investigated the effects of prior recurrent head injury on the symptom profiles of student-athletes after another suspected concussion. The analysis included student athletes (aged 12 to 22 years) reporting a single prior sports-related concussion (SRC1; 2,253 students) and athletes reporting two or more prior concussions (SRC2+; 976 students) at baseline.

The researchers found that at postinjury test 1 (PI1), the SRC2+ group had lower severity of headaches but increased nervousness, irritability, sadness, visual problems, and neuropsychiatric symptoms versus SRC1. In a multivariate analysis, decreased headache severity was associated with increased prior concussion (β = −0.27). At postinjury test 2, the SRC2+ cohort had increased cognitive (β = 1.22), sleep (β = 0.63), and neuropsychiatric (β = 0.67) symptoms versus the SRC1 cohort.

“Careful assessment of specific symptoms should be considered in patients with a history of recurrent head injury prior to return to play,” the authors write.

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