Concussion affects students more than other injuries

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Students who suffer a concussion may face more school difficulties than their peers with other sports-related injuries, a new study suggests.

Return-to-learn guidelines

Researchers found that concussed high school and college students had more trouble performing at a normal academic level one week later compared to students who injured their arms or legs.

"Concussed students typically return to school within a week after injury, while their brains are likely still recovering," said Erin Wasserman and colleagues from the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, in New York.

Read: Concussion in school rugby: new study evaluates risks

"The study authors said their findings "emphasise the need for return-to-learn guidelines and academic adjustments based on gender and concussion history."

For the study, the researchers analysed visits to three emergency departments by high school and college students between September 2013 and January 2015. All of the students had a sports-related concussion or a musculoskeletal injury involving an arm or leg.

Read: Apps can help professionals spot a concussion

Using telephone surveys, the researchers compared self-reported academic problems after one week. The assessment was repeated one month after each student's trip to the emergency room.

The investigators also found that young women and students who had two or more previous concussions were more vulnerable to these negative effects.

Read: Blood test may help diagnose concussion

However, the learning difficulties did not persist long-term, the study authors noted in a news release from the American Public Health Association.

According to the team led by Wasserman, who is now with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Centre, one month after visiting the emergency room, students with a concussion no longer had worse academic performance than those with other injuries.

The results were published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Read more:

Symptoms of sports injuries

Causes of sports injuries

Preventing sports injuries

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