Teen Concussion Patients Should Lay Off Homework, Texting, and Video Games

Teens who play high school sports like football that sustain a concussion should avoid texting, homework, and playing video games, according to new research coming out of Boston Children's Hospital.

Researchers say that teen athletes that have suffered a concussion while playing a sport recovered faster when they practiced "cognitive rest."

"We believe this is the first study showing the independent, beneficial effect of limiting cognitive activity on recovery from concussion. Previously, the lack of such data has led to varied practice with regards to implementing cognitive rest, making it even controversial," William Meehan MD, from Boston Children's Division of Sports Medicine, said.

Medical experts have suggested that this recovery technique should be used for at least a decade, but little to no research has been conducted to back these claims up.

Researchers studied athletes with an average age of 15 who had suffered a concussion between October 2009 and July 2011. They assessed the patients' symptoms using the Post-Concussion Symptom Scale and then asked them to complete a Cognitive Activity Scale at every visit.

The five-point scale ranged from "complete cognitive rest-defined as no reading, homework, text messaging, video game playing and online activities-to full cognitive activity, or no limits at all. Cognitive activity levels were divided into quartiles."

Researchers determined that patients who engaged in the highest levels of brain activity after receiving a concussion took the most time to recover. The finding suggests students who have suffered a concussion should be given certain "academic accommodations" such as more time to complete homework assignments.

Researchers also caution that there has to be a healthy balance between cognitive rest and a complete lack of mental activity because research showed that moderate cognitive rest and complete cognitive rest basically produced the same rate of recovery.

"These findings indicate that complete abstinence from cognitive activity may be unnecessary," Meehan said. "Our findings suggest that while vigorous cognitive exertion is detrimental to recovery, more moderate levels of cognitive exertion do not seem to prolong recovery substantially. Thus, we recommend a period of near full cognitive rest acutely after injury, approximately [three to five] days, followed by a gradual return to sub-symptom levels of cognitive activity."

Source: Headlines & Global News

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  1. 0
    Sora-Chan says:

    Considering a sports team can bring fame, and in ways, money, to a school, they'd be quite moronic to get rid of sports. It's actually why many schools look the other way on things sports playing students pull, even if it's criminal.

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  2. 0
    jedidethfreak says:

    So, now jocks have a doctor's note not to do homework?

    I don't know about anyone else, but at my school, the jocks got away with not doing homework anyway – at least now the school can cover their asses.

  3. 0
    hellfire7885 says:

    Kids loving looking for excuses to not do homework, especially the athletes, and schools are already known for playing it insanely safe with zero tolerance/zero thought policies, but removing sports programs is extremely unlikely, more likely they'll severely cut other areas and put a ton more into athlete safety.

  4. 0
    Scott1701c says:

    Lets pretend to be a teenager again.

    "Hmm, If I get a concussion, I do not have to do homework, but then I lose video games and texting. To get a concussion, or not get a concussion, that tis the question."

    I can understand this I suppose, the more intense thinking one does, the harder the brian is having to work while it is injured. Kindof like staying off a sprained ankle.

    The down-side to this study might be the limiting (or elimination) of school sponsored sports, so that there is less academic downtime for athletes to recover. Kids already do not get enough exercise, and this could hamper efforts further.

    But it is an interesting study, thank you

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