High school athletes who suffer concussions might need more recovery time than current practices dictate, a new study by University of Oregon researchers suggests.
Cognitive abilities, such as the ability to focus or to switch tasks, were compromised for up to two months after a concussion, researchers found.
The computer-measured results were often at odds with how the athletes said they felt. There was also anecdotal evidence that the academic performance of injured athletes declined during the two-month period.
Conventional wisdom on typical recovery time for a concussion, according to a University of Oregon news release, is seven to 10 days.
An athlete who returns to play before a full recovery is in danger of another concussion, it adds. The chances of suffering a second one are three to six times higher, and are eight times higher for a third.
Researchers used a sample of 40 high school athletes, half of whom were healthy and half of whom had suffered concussions. Every athlete with a concussion was matched with a healthy one equivalent in age, gender and body size who was also in the same sport.
The study appeared in December in the journal of the American College of Sports Medicine.
— Heidi Hagemeier, The Bulletin