Multiple Concussions Raise Teen Athletes' Health Risks

Jim Liebelt | Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for the HomeWord Center for Youth and Family at Azusa Pacific University | Monday, January 31, 2011

Multiple Concussions Raise Teen Athletes' Health Risks

High school athletes who have suffered two or more concussions may already have early symptoms of 'post-concussion syndrome,' according to a new study.

Not surprisingly, rates of concussion-related symptoms were higher among athletes with previous concussions, but the finding was particularly true for those with two or more concussions.

When the investigators adjusted for other factors, they found that compared with athletes with either no concussion history or one previous concussion, athletes with two or more previous concussions were more likely to have a cluster of the following three types of symptoms:

• Intellectual symptoms, also called cognitive symptoms, such as memory problems or feeling "mentally foggy."
• Physical symptoms, including headaches and problems with balance or feeling dizzy.
• Sleep symptoms, which could mean sleeping either more or less than they normally would.

Among all three groups of athletes, no differences were noted in terms of emotional symptoms, such as irritability or sadness.

The study was released online in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Neurosurgery.

Source: U.S. News & World Report