Thursday, March 1, 2012

Effects of Head Injuries Persist in Teens

Neurophysiological deficits persist for at least six months after a concussion, and adolescents are more sensitive to the consequences of concussions than are children or adults, wrote Dave Ellemberg, Ph.D., and colleagues in the March journal Brain Injury. Ellemberg studied 96 athletes, aged 9 years and older, half of whom had concussions. Those with concussions had significantly lower amplitude in brain measurements of event-related potential. Adolescents—but not children or adults—also showed persistent deficits in working memory that lasted up to one year.

In fact, the quick tests used on the field after an athlete takes a blow to the head may not be very revealing, Ellemberg explained. "You typically have to wait for a couple of days, or even weeks, after the injury to see the symptoms." Concussions may affect the development of the teenage brain and so have more severe effects for a longer time, he speculated.

For more about concussions, see American Psychiatric Publishing's Textbook of Traumatic Brain Injury, 2nd Edition.

(Image: katonia82/


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