Do Early Interventions Reduce Long-Term Effects of Concussions in the Pediatric Population? A Systematic Review
Concussions are a form of traumatic brain injury caused by caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth (CDC, 2018). When the brain moves, several signals and chemical changes occur resulting in injury of the brain as it hits the skull. These changes can cause a variety of symptoms and time is needed to properly heal from a concussion. Each year, approximately 58% of youth (ages 8-18) are taken to the emergency department for a sports-related concussion (Rieger, 2018). Concussions build upon themselves; meaning that the more concussions a person has through their life, the worse the long-term effects are and the longer the recovery period. Several studies have found that National Football League (NFL) players who started playing football before age 12 had significantly worse cognitive and behavioral symptoms than their counterparts who started playing after 12 years of age (Stern, 2011). Recently, increased evidence to suggest that repeated sub-concussive blows can cause structural injury to the brain, and repeated head trauma in athletes has been implicated in a condition known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (Bazarian, 2012). Early interventions are important for allowing the brain to heal from injury. Recent policies have identified protocols for “return to school” and “return to play”, however review of these policies and effects on the child have not been completed. Literature from PubMed and SCOPUS will be reviewed as the first tier of analysis to determine if there is a correlation between early interventions in concussion care and the lasting effects of mild traumatic brain injuries. In reviewing ten articles related to early interventions post-concussion, studies indicate that vestibular rehabilitation reduces the long term effects of post-concussive symptoms.
Recommended CitationCarrante, MS, MPHc, Sarah and Frasso, PhD, MSc, CPH, Rosemary, "Do Early Interventions Reduce Long-Term Effects of Concussions in the Pediatric Population? A Systematic Review" (2018). Master of Public Health Thesis and Capstone Presentations. Presentation 284.