Teens can experience emotional symptoms, as well as physical symptoms, after sustaining a concussion, according to researchers.
Doctoral student Lisa Koehl and colleagues at the University of Kentucky used a subset of 37 athletes between the ages of 12 and 17 years to explore post-concussion changes in physical, emotional and cognitive symptoms over time. The study analyzed data from a large United Kingdom database of patients with brain injuries.
According to a press release about the study, 22 of the 37 study participants demonstrated post-concussive emotional symptoms.
“We discovered a bidirectional relationship between both emotional symptoms developing in conjunction with physical symptoms, and also emotional symptoms developing because of the physical symptoms,” Koehl said in the release.
Of the 22 patients who experienced emotional symptoms, 23% were sensitive to light, and 14% were sensitive to noise. In comparison, of the 15 teens without emotional symptoms, 13% were sensitive to light and none were sensitive to noise.
Koehl and colleagues are hopeful these findings will help physicians understand the connection between emotional and physical post-concussive symptoms and will lead to better treatment for adolescents, according to the release.