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Concussion in children: 5 recent studies

concussion in children

A concussion is a form of head injury that can be detrimental for a child’s health. Children who suffer from a concussion may experience difficulties in brain development. Due to the sensitivity of the brain at such an age, concussions are a serious health concern among younger populations in particular.  It is essential to detect the occurrence of a concussion immediately in order to begin the treatment process and mitigate any further risks.

Repeated concussion could alter the brain

In the case of many young concussion patients, injuries are often caused during sporting activities or other forms of physical activity. Repeated head injuries in children can cause severe headaches and may lead to poor brain development. A study found that children who played football were prone to head injuries that caused deformation of the corpus callosum. At a young age, the vulnerability of the brain to these injuries can cause impairment in the child’s information processing and coordination.

Exercise helps speed up recovery

Concussions in children often result in dizziness as one of the initial symptoms. Previous research has concluded that engaging in exercise after a concussion can prolong the symptoms and delay recovery. In contrast, it is also known that some forms of exercise, such as aerobic exercise, are beneficial for overall brain health. A research study found that concussion patients who returned to light aerobic exercises experienced faster recovery from their concussions and did not witness any worsening symptoms throughout the exercise regime. With further research to solidify these findings, aerobic exercise may be a healthy lifestyle option for children with concussions.

Impaired hearing occurs following concussion

Children who undergo a concussion often experience ringing in the ears, and impaired processing of sounds. A study found that adolescent concussion patients had difficulty in identifying sounds and distinguishing pitch. These children also experienced impairment when processing speech. This information serves as a beneficial tool in the diagnosis portion of the concussion treatment process. Testing a child’s ability to perceive pitch presents a non-invasive option to detect the occurrence of a concussion.

Smartphone app for concussion management

Concussions can lead to symptoms of nausea and vomiting. Many immediate symptoms of a concussion, including nausea and vomiting, are common symptoms for many other medical conditions, making it difficult to identify the presence of a concussion. A previous study reported a smartphone application for concussion management among many others that are revolutionizing the medical and health industries. The accessibility and user-friendliness of smartphone applications makes them a valuable tool for information regarding diagnosis and treatment of a medical condition. The application, called ‘Spot Light’ is a concussion diagnosis and management assistant that allows parents to keep track of their child’s health and recovery process.

Magnetic stimulation therapy to treat post-concussion symptoms

Although most concussion cases are resolved within 10-20 days, some more severe incidents may result in post-concussion symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, headaches, dizziness, and unconsciousness. These post-concussion symptoms can last for months past the date of the concussion. A recent study reported the testing of a magnetic stimulation therapy which offers a non-invasive method for treating post-concussion symptoms. The treatment works by directing magnetic impulses to the brain to stimulate the nerves in the brain.

Written by Shrishti Ahuja, HBSc

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Image by manseok Kim from Pixabay

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