Concussion Symptoms In Youngsters Related to Injury Location

Concussion Symptoms In Youngsters Related to Injury Location
Published: 2022-05-23
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Research from McGill University reports that some children will have lasting symptoms, though most recover fully from concussions.  The published paper describes complicated relationships between the damage caused by concussion and the symptoms.

Certain combinations of concussed brain damage are associated with specific symptoms such as attention difficulties, it says.  Other symptoms, like sleep problems, were found to occur in children with different sorts of injuries.  Damage to areas of the brain essential for controlling sleep and wakefulness and damage to areas that control mood are examples that activate those symptoms.

“Clues to these conclusions are held in the brain’s white matter,” the study, led by author Guido Guberman, a Vanier Scholar and MDCM candidate at McGill University.

The research team examined brain damage resulting from a concussion and how it affected white matter, the brain's connection network.  Statistical modeling was used to monitor the changes related to 19 different symptoms as reported by caregivers or the children.

Analyzing symptoms may advance treatment they say, “despite decades of research, no new treatment targets and therapies for concussions have been identified in recent years. 

According to Guberman, the lack of new treatment targets is “likely because damage to the brain caused by concussions and symptoms that result from it, can vary widely across individuals, and in our study, we wanted to explore the relationships that exist between the symptoms of concussion and the nature of the injury in more detail.”  

The team collected and analyzed data from 306 children aged nine to 10 years old who were participants in the Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) Study, and previously had a concussion.

Another member of the team, Maxime Descoteaux, Professor of Computer Science at the University of Sherbrook, called “ the methods used in our study provide a novel way of conceptualizing and studying concussions,” adding, “once our results are validated and better understood, they could be used to explore potential new treatment targets for individuals.”

“More broadly, it would be interesting to see if our methods could also be used to gather new insights on neurological diseases that likewise cause varied symptoms among patients,” Professor Descoteaux concluded.