Concussion Research in the News

Concussion Research in the News

Concussion Research Update

Concussion Research News graphic Research plays a critical role in informing the best possible concussion care for patients at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. As part of this program, the Concussion Research Laboratory, under the direction of Micky Collins, PhD, clinical and executive director, and Anthony Kontos, PhD, director of research, support clinical patient-centered research funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Defense (DoD) and other organizations. As a result, in 2017, our faculty and fellows published more than 35 clinical research papers on concussion.

Here is a sample of some of our latest clinical concussion research publications:

Do sideline concussion assessments predict subsequent neurocognitive impairment following sport-related concussion?

This study evaluated the role of impairment of athletes in commonly used concussion measures within 24 to 48 hours post-injury on subsequent impairment and recovery time. The findings indicated that more than 90 percent of athletes were impaired on at least one sideline or neurocognitive measure within 24 to 48 hours after sport-related concussion. Although sideline measures were useful for concussion diagnosis, they were not suitable for prognostication of subsequent impairment or the presence of symptoms one to two weeks post-injury.

Sufrinko A, McAllister Deitrick J, Womble M, Kontos AP. Do sideline concussion assessments predict subsequent neurocognitive impairment following sport-related concussion? J Ath Train; 2017; 52, 676-681.

Open this publication on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

Abnormal menstrual patterns in young women following concussion.

The objective for this study was to compare abnormal menstrual patterns in adolescent and young women after a sport-related concussion with those after sport-related orthopaedic injuries to areas other than the head. The key finding from this study suggested that adolescent and young women had an increased risk of multiple abnormal menstrual patterns following concussion. However, additional research is needed to determine if there are any long-term consequences of concussion on the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-ovarian axis that regulates menstrual function.

Snook ML, Henry LC, Sanfilippo JS, Zeleznik AJ, Kontos AP. Abnormal menstrual patterns in young women following concussion. JAMA Peds; 2017; 171(9), 879–886.

Open this publication on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

Familial history of migraine is associated with post-traumatic migraine following sport-related concussion in adolescents.

This study sought to determine whether family (i.e., personal or immediate family member [e.g., mother, sister]) history of migraine was associated with an increased likelihood of posttraumatic migraine (PTM) symptom presentation in adolescents following concussion. In addition, the study examined the influence of family history of migraine and PTM on post-injury outcomes. The findings suggested that a family history of migraine was associated with PTM symptoms following sport-related concussion, suggesting that a genetic predisposition for migraine may serve as a trigger for onset of PTM. However, only presence of PTM, rather than family history of migraine, was related to worse neurocognitive and vestibular/oculomotor outcomes. This finding suggests that family history of migraine may indirectly influence poor outcomes following concussion by driving certain patients down a path of PTM symptoms.

Sufrinko A, McAllister Deitrick J, Elbin RJ, Collins MW, Kontos AP. Familial history of migraine is associated with post-traumatic migraine following sport-related concussion in adolescents. J Head Traum Rehab; 2017; Epub ahead of print.

Open this publication on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.

The effectiveness of prescribed rest depends on initial presentation following concussion.

This study evaluated whether or not initial signs and symptoms of a concussion in the emergency department influence the effectiveness of prescribed rest in the first week after concussion. The primary finding indicated that, compared with patients with overt signs of injury, patients who predominantly had symptoms were more likely to remain symptomatic after injury if prescribed rest. Patients with signs of injury benefited from rest after a concussion. These findings suggest that “one size” treatments do not fit all patients, and support the importance of starting an individualized treatment plan immediately following a concussion.

Sufrinko AS, Kontos AP, Apps JN, McCrea M, Hockey R, Collins MW, Thomas D. The effectiveness of prescribed rest depends on initial presentation following concussion. J Peds; 2017; Epub ahead of print.

Open this publication on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website.