In a new study, researchers found that a lot of people might be going through life with symptoms that resemble concussion.
They found between 11% and 27% of healthy college athletes with no history of a recent concussion reported symptoms that met the criteria for post-concussion syndrome (PCS).
Among the nearly 31,000 student-athletes surveyed, three factors stood out as the most likely to predict PCS-like symptoms: lack of sleep, pre-existing mental health problems and stress.
The research was conducted by a team at the University of Delaware.
In the study, the team tested students from four U.S. military service academies and students who competed in NCAA sports at 26 U.S. higher education institutions.
They found between one-half and three-quarters of all of the athletes surveyed reported one or more symptoms commonly experienced by people who’ve had a concussion, the most common being fatigue or low energy and drowsiness.
The team says it’s important to understand that there are multiple sources of these symptoms so that student-athletes’ post-concussion care zeroes in on symptoms caused by the injury.
In addition, knowing athletes’ medical history and baseline symptom status may help clinicians predict which pre-existing factors could contribute to a slower recovery from a concussion.
One author of the study is Jaclyn Caccese.
The study is published in Sports Medicine.
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