Study reveals best recovery approach for kids with concussions

Brain injuries in the form of concussions are in the news a lot these days. Stories revolve around both the prevention of these injuries as well as the best course of treatment when they do occur. A recent report indicates that where children are concerned, the fastest recoveries occur when the injured youngsters take their time in returning to normal mental activity. The study from which this information was derived is in this month’s journal Pediatrics.

The study involved 335 individuals who suffered concussions and were between the ages of eight and 23. A concussion-symptom scale was used to monitor the impact on individuals engaging in the following levels of mental activity:

  • Complete mental rest
  • Minimal mental activity
  • Moderate mental activity
  • Significant mental activity
  • Full mental activity

The mental activities monitored were homework, reading, video games and online activity.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who reported engaging in less mental activity experienced a much shorter recovery time, averaging 43 days. On the other end of the spectrum, study participants who engaged in more mental activity experienced a recovery time of around 100 days. Recovery was described as no longer experiencing symptoms such as blurred vision, dizziness or headaches.

The lead author of the study noted that each concussion patient is different and therefore each will recover according to his or her own timeline.

Concussions are experienced by individuals of all ages in a variety of situations. While many people recover from the brain injury quickly and do not suffer lingering effects, others may find that they are dealing with symptoms far into the future making it difficult and sometimes expensive to live with. When such injuries are the result of another person’s negligence, it may be possible to seek monetary damages from that individual for the injury.

Source: HealthDay News, “Power Down to Speed Concussion Recovery: Study,” Steven Reinberg, Jan. 6, 2014