Athletes who return to action within 60 days of a concussion may experience significant regression in their recovery. That's the conclusion of a new study out of the University of Oregon.
The researchers included 25 high school athletes who suffered concussions from football, soccer, wrestling and volleyball. Assessments were done within 72 hours of injury then at one week, two weeks, one month and two months. 19 of the athletes were medically cleared to head back to the field during the study period. 6 were not.
Among those who returned to play, 12 showed signs of regression, exhibiting changes in balance and/or walking speed. They also had trouble completing dual tasks such as walking and reciting the months backward starting with October or subtracting 7 repeatedly beginning from 100. The more complex the secondary task, the greater the effect when compared to healthy control subjects.
The researchers say these findings suggest that athletes may require more time to recover than current clinical tests reveal and that dual-action tasks may help to better evaluate readiness to return to sports.
I'm Dr. Cindy Haines of HealthDay TV, with the latest breakthroughs from the world of medicine.