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Study Finds Reversal Of Recovery In Athletes Who Return From Concussion Too Soon

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Concussions can occur in many different sports, and it´s important to take plenty of time to fully recover before returning to action.

The decision on when to resume sporting activity tends to be based on discussions with the athlete about their symptoms, together with assessments of cognition or motor function.

But how soon is too soon to return from concussion? A new University of Oregon study has found that high school athletes who had shown a continuous improvement and returned to the field with medical clearance within 60 days experienced a significant regression in their ability to simultaneously walk and do simple mental tasks.

The researchers focused on athletes´ individual data, comparing their return-to-activity status with the results of three tests: simply walking; separately doing simple mental exercises; and a combination in which they walked and performed mental exercises at the same time.

Results showed that there was a reversal in the athletes´ recovery after their return to activity when they performed the task that combined walking and cognitive functioning.

This regression was seen in changes in balance and/or altered walking speeds in 12 of the 19 athletes involved in the study. Of those 12, 10 had returned to activity less than a month after their concussion.

The study reinforces the need for a multi-faceted approach to concussion management and continued monitoring beyond the point of clinical recovery, the authors said.

The findings of the study have been published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.

http://www.healio.com/spine-surgery/concussion/news/online/%7B095f9fe7-5701-4909-a918-797f80444633%7D/recovery-regression-seen-in-athletes-who-return-from-concussions-too-quickly

http://uonews.uoregon.edu/archive/news-release/2014/8/recovery-reversal-seen-oregon-study-returning-concussed-athletes

http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/publishahead/Return_to_Activity_after_Concussion_Affects.97957.aspx