Researchers have found that early concussion treatment can lead to quicker recovery time, especially in teenagers and young adults. The study found that patients who received an evaluation and began treatment within the first week of injury had a much better recovery time than those who waited longer, 2 to 3 weeks.
There are many factors that play into concussion recovery. Because concussions can affect various aspects of cognition and brain function, they need to be thoroughly examined to be properly treated.
According to the study, researchers used the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale to initially measure symptom severity. The PCSS is a computerized self-reported symptom inventory, including 22 items on physical, cognitive, affective, and sleep-associated concussion symptoms. Participants rated each symptom from 0 to 6. Researchers also gathered the demographics and injury history of the 162 athletes, ranging from 12 to 22 in age.
The Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (IMPACT), a computerized test battery was used to measure neurocognitive performance. This test consists of 6 cognitive subtest modules. The 6 modules include 4 composite scores for verbal memory, visual memory, visual motor processing speed, and reaction time. The test takes about 20 to 30 minutes to complete.
Researchers examined the data on the 162 athletes, who were diagnosed with concussions and recovery time ranged from 9 to 299 days. The study found that patients who received care in the second or third week of injury were over four times more likely to have a recovery time of longer than 30 days. Those who did receive treatment within the first week of injury, had a quicker recovery time of under 30, with a mean of 20 days, the study found.
According to researchers, the assumption was that recovery time was related to severity of symptoms. However, they found that receiving treatment was more influential on rehabilitation. The symptoms that did average longer recovery, in all patients, where those with worse visual and motion related symptoms. Receiving treatment sooner can still be beneficial, though, as these symptoms can be identified quicker, leading to more specific and effective treatment. Those who did not get evaluated quickly may have contributed to the worsening of their symptoms, which could have led to longer recovery.
The study's main flaw is that they did not measure each patient's adherence to their treatment, on their own. Adherence to the processes of rehabilitation is a huge factor in recovery, so this must be considered. The study also states that future studies should be more exhaustive with these factors, as well as compare a larger age range of patients. However, from this study, it is clear that the sooner a concussion is identified, within the first week, the sooner it can be treated and recovered from.
Based on this information, a Tozuda Head Impact Indicator can be a valuable aspect of recovery, helping in the indentification of a potential injury. This will lead to quicker treatment and recovery, and help reduce the risk of worsening injury.
SOURCE: https://bit.ly/30a5Nb9 JAMA Neurology, online June 23, 2021.
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