Research shows recovery from concussions a slow process for teens

Something as simple as a teenager playing soccer or football can result in a serious injury, including a concussion. Brain injuries are a serious matter, and proper diagnosis and treatment is necessary to ensure additional problems don’t arise as a result of the injury.

When it comes to treating brain injuries and many other serious medical conditions, patients and their families need to know that Illinois doctors should not take a “one size fits all” approach. Each patient’s injury is unique, which means treatment methods may vary, even when injuries are similar. According to some researchers, teens in particular may need more time to recover from concussions compared to adults who suffer similar injuries.

One key to teenagers recovering from a concussion is a sufficient amount of rest following the injury. Weeks, even months of doing very little may be required, and doctors need to monitor patients properly in order to make sure they are recovering.

One teen injured in a soccer game spent three months lying in bed in a dimly-lit house without television, computer or cellphone use. It was only after three months of such limited activity that the former A-student began to be able to follow a conversation and recite the days of the week. While she received the proper rest she needed to recover, researchers say too many young people who suffer brain injuries don’t get the recovery time and rest they need.

A study that was published last month discovered that 15 of 54 student athletes who appeared to have recovered from their concussions ended up showing a decline in memory after they started to exercise again. This means their brains had not healed sufficiently, and with returning to normal activity too soon, the energy needed for healing was instead used for functioning in other areas.

Although some injuries that are caused by concussions cannot be prevented, doctors can do their part to make sure their patients receive the proper care they need to have a successful recovery. When doctors deviate from the standard of care when treating patients who have brain injuries, doctors may end up causing more damage.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Teens may need more time to heal from concussions,” Jan. 14, 2013

Brain Injuries


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