Parents of athletes, listen up. A new study has found that kids who have suffered from a concussion may reverse their recovery after returning to exercise.
It doesn't matter what the sport is — football, volleyball, basketball or cheerleading — once a concussion occurs, many kids are often raring to get back in the game. But in a small study of high school athletes, researchers from the University of Oregon at Eugene found that even after kids get medical clearance to return to their sport, they often saw a reversal in the mental improvements they had made in their recovery.
For the study, the research team looked at the medical records of 19 athletes and found that after they returned to their sport, 12 of those athletes regressed in their ability to walk while performing simple mental tasks. So walking and talking to a friend may be more difficult. And walking and texting might be out of the question.
Researchers noted that the regression was subtle; it might not be something that the athletes or their parents even noticed. But the differences were detectable in the lab and researchers warn that the regression could make a big difference in the child's recovery.
Of course, this was just one very small study. Researchers need time to work on a study that would include a larger pool of students to really know whether or not their findings are valid.
But for now, it is a good reminder that the most important aspect in concussion recovery is time. And that means a gradual return to both sports and school work until the concussion has fully healed.
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