Post-concussion symptoms strongly linked to depression

Credit: Jorge Franganillo / Unsplash.

A mild traumatic brain injury is known as a concussion.

It could happen as a result of a fall or auto accident while playing contact sports, or from violent shaking and movement of the head or body.

Persistent post-concussive symptoms — also called post-concussion syndrome — occur when symptoms of a mild traumatic brain injury last longer than expected after an injury.

These symptoms may include headaches, dizziness, and problems with concentration and memory. They can last weeks to months.

In a study from the University of Ottawa, scientists found there is a strong association between persistent post-concussion symptoms (PPCS) and depression.

They conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine the association between depressive symptoms and PPCS in children, adolescents, and adults and to examine potential moderators of the association.

PPCS was defined as physician-diagnosed or self-reported concussion, with symptoms lasting at least four weeks.

Data were obtained from 18 studies with 9,101 participants. There was an average of 21.3 weeks since the concussion.

The researchers found a strong association between PPCS and depression symptoms after accounting for potential publication bias.

No strong moderators were identified, possibly due to the small number of studies.

The team says gaining further knowledge on PPCS and identifying target variables that improve long-term outcomes are critical to inform the development of optimal concussion care plans.

With the high annual prevalence rates, concussions must remain a priority in clinical research, and efforts to better understand, monitor, and mitigate their adverse long-term consequences are needed.

If you care about brain health, please read studies about a new drug to stop brain tumor growth, and how alcohol, coffee, and tea intake influence cognitive decline.

For more information about depression, please see recent studies about daily routines to fight off depression, and results showing Vitamin D could help reduce depression symptoms.

The study was conducted by Maude Lambert et al and published in JAMA Network Open.

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