Athletes who experience a concussion can have all their symptoms subside and still be cognitively impaired, according to a new abstract presented at a medical conference.
Columbia university researchers conducted a retrospective study that ultimately involved 70 Ivy League college football players who had experienced at least one confirmed concussion.
Tanzid Shams, MD, of Columbia University in New York, told MedPage Today:
The key thing here is that despite reports of [resolution] of symptoms by the athletes, we still saw that nearly 40% of the concussed athletes showed significant deficits in their neuropsychiatric testing. And this is important because an athlete can report resolution of symptoms, but they still may have lingering cognitive deficits, and the key thing we have to watch out for is that someone doesn't get a second or a third concussion during the time that they are vulnerable.
The median time between the concussion and return to play football was 10 days, and ten percent did not return to play again, although there were reasons other than the concussion involved.
Using the Headminder Concussion Resolution Index (CRI) to assess cognitive awareness, researchers found that almost 40 percent of the players continued to show cognitive impairment after their symptoms had subsided.
The researchers concluded:
Despite subjective recovery, at their lowest scores [CRI Z-scores], nearly 40% of these concussed players had statistically significant, and likely clinically significant impairment identified on cognitive testing.
Source: MedPage Today