Concussion in high school doesn't boost depression risk

June 30, 2017

Concussion in high school doesn't boost depression risk

Health

Two new studies offer good news for any high school athlete who's suffered a concussion: For most athletes, mental or physical effects may resolve themselves over the long term.

One study involving more than 260 high school athletes who'd suffered a concussion found they had no bigger risk for depression within about two years after the injury, compared to peers who hadn't had such an injury.

And a second study, involving more than 1,200 high school athletes, found no differences in self-reported quality of life over two years of follow-up, regardless of whether or not they'd had a concussion.

An expert who reviewed the studies stressed that despite the seemingly good news, concussions can have devastating results for some athletes.

"These two study results are consistent with what we've seen with some long-term concussion studies and while these findings are promising, it is also important to stay vigilant to prevent concussions in all athletes given the short and long-term health implications," said IHPI member, Steven Broglio. He chaired a statement on concussion for the National Athletic Trainers' Association (NATA) and directs the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan.

There's been increasing focus over the past few years on the dangers to young athletes of head injury and concussions. Certainly, such injuries can have important medical implications in the short term.

But what about the longer term? In most cases, should young players and their families worry about effects a concussion might have months or years later?

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