Prolonged Recovery from Concussion Could Lead to Psychiatric Disorders

A recent report from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting, held last month in Orlando, has suggested that “prolonged recovery from concussions may signal further psychiatric disorders in athletes.”

A Website called HCP Live cited research from St. Vincent Sports Performance (SVSP) and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention in Indianapolis, which studied 76 athletes aged 8-23 years who had sports-related concussions and had been referred to neuropsychological specialists for further evaluation after an average of 4.4 months.

“While the majority of concussions resolve within 7-10 days, some of athletes enrolled in the study experienced a concussion that lasted up to a year,” according to the article. “The majority of the study participants (73.7%) met the formal diagnostic criteria for at least one psychiatric disorder. Additionally, some of the athletes (64.3%) fulfilled the criteria for one comorbid psychiatric condition, 23.2% fulfilled it for 2, 8.9% for 3, and 3.6% for 4.

“The researchers found 27 athletes had adjustment disorders, which were the most prevalent among the participants. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was present in 21 athletes, while 18 had anxiety disorders, 10 had learning disabilities, and 9 had depression and/or mood disorders.”

“Although the patients were evaluated with the Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) database, the test did not always reflect the patients’ underlying issues.”

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