Each year, 1 to 2 million U.S.
children seek treatment for mild traumatic brain injury, which includes
concussion from sports and other causes. A study in the November 2018 issue of Pediatrics, “Persistent Post-Concussion Symptoms after Injury,” (published online Oct. 15) looks at how
family environment, age, gender and demographics affect children’s recovery
from symptoms related to concussions. Researchers enrolled 347 children with
either mild traumatic brain injury, complicated-mild injury, or orthopedic
injury in a cohort study to monitor their recovery from mild traumatic brain
injury. They found that being female, having a pre-injury mood problem, a
lower family income and family discord all contributed to ongoing
post-concussion symptoms – sometimes for as long as a year after injury.
Results from the study showed that as many as 25 percent to 31 percent of
children enrolled still experienced post-concussion symptoms such as difficulty
concentrating, headache and irritability, one year after injury. The authors
note that these symptoms negatively impact functioning at school and home. The
authors conclude that because symptoms appear over time - with physical
symptoms appearing first and cognitive and psychological symptoms developing
later - that physicians should consider a child’s home environment and mental
status prior to injury to help determine which children should be followed more
closely for extended post-concussion symptoms.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 67,000 primary care pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. For more information, visit www.aap.org and follow us on Twitter @AmerAcadPeds