Sep 17, 2020UW-Madison Study Suggests Concussions Don’t Cause Long-Term Depression
A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison suggests that concussions do not have long-term effects of depression on high school athletes, according to a report from OnFocus.com.
The “Longitudinal Assessment of Depressive Symptoms After Sport-Related Concussion in a Cohort of High School Athletes” sampled 2,160 Wisconsin high school student-athletes, both male and female, that completed a preseason baseline concussion symptom evaluation and questionnaire.
Of those 2,160 student-athletes, 125 sustained a sports-related concussion in the two-year period, according to the study, which appeared recently in SportsHealth.
The findings suggest that a sports-related concussion does not exert a strong influence on measures of depressed mood in most high school athletes longitudinally over the 12 months after injury. Emotional symptoms after a sports-related concussion are common, but they are typically resolved by a return to sports.
“I think that these results support the WIAA policies that advocate for a prompt removal from play for any suspected sports-related concussion, as well as an early athletic trainer or doctor evaluation, and a guided, systematic assessment of recovery before the athletes are allowed to return to sports,” Dr. Tim McGuine, one of the UW-Madison researchers, told OnFocus.com.
Despite these findings, the UW-Madison research team still urges clinicians to be observant of postconcussion complications, particularly in student-athletes with prolonged symptoms, history of multiple concussions, or those with a previous history of major depression — based on prior studies.
In addition to Dr. McGuine, who is one of the nation’s leading researchers on high school student-athlete health and well-being, the research was conducted by Dr. Erin Hammer, Dr. Scott Hatzel, and Dr. Adam Pfaller.
Dr. McGuine is also a member of the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) Sports Medical Advisory Committee and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Sports Medicine Advisory Committee.