-- Robert Preidt
TUESDAY, Sept. 24 (HealthDay News) -- Whether injured athletes
are teens or young adults does not affect the severity of their
concussion symptoms, according to a new study. However, differences
may still exist in the concussion's aftermath, the researchers
Some previous research has raised concerns that high school-age
athletes may suffer more severe symptoms after a concussion than
college-age athletes, but this study found no evidence of that.
Related symptoms include headache, dizziness, nausea, fatigue,
irritability, sleeping difficulties and problems with memory and
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine researchers compared
concussion symptoms in 92 athletes aged 13 to 16 with those of 92
athletes aged 18 to 22. Both groups had 56 percent females and 44
No significant differences occurred between the two groups in
the number, duration or severity of concussion symptoms, according
to the study published online Sept. 24 in the
Journal of Neurosurgery: Pediatrics.
Some age-related differences may occur after sports-related
concussion, the researchers said. They noted that previous research
from the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center concluded that
age-related differences exist in neurocognitive testing after
In evaluating sports-related concussion, it's important to
separate different ways of assessing outcomes, study co-author Dr.
Scott Zuckerman said in a journal news release. These methods
include assessing symptoms, neurocognitive testing, balance
problems, school performance and others.
"It appears that symptoms may not be a prominent driver when assessing outcomes of younger versus older athletes. We hope that our study can add insight into the evaluation of youth athletes after sports-related concussion," Zuckerman said in the news release.
The author of an accompanying editorial, Dr. Ann-Christine
Duhaime, noted that definitions of concussion are not uniform, its
diagnosis is not standardized and it's extremely difficult to match
all variable factors in a study of sports-related concussion in
different age groups.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
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