(HealthDay News) – The risk of prolonged concussion symptoms is increased for children with a history of concussion, particularly those with multiple concussions or concussion within the preceding 12 months, according to a study published online June 10 in Pediatrics.

Matthew A. Eisenberg, MD, from Boston Children’s Hospital, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study involving 280 patients aged 11–22 years presenting to the emergency department of a children’s hospital with an acute concussion during a 12-month period. The time to symptom resolution, as measured with the Rivermead Post-Concussion Symptoms Questionnaire (RPSQ), was the main outcome measured.

The researchers found that symptom duration was significantly longer for those with a history of previous concussion than for those without previous concussion (24 vs.12 days). Patients with multiple previous concussions and those who had sustained a concussion within the previous year had significantly longer median symptom duration (28 and 35 days, respectively) compared to those without these risk factors. Prolonged recovery was significantly predicted by previous concussion, absence of loss of consciousness, age of ≥13 years, and initial RPSQ score over 18, in multivariate analysis.

“Children with a history of a previous concussion, particularly those with recent or multiple concussions, are at increased risk for prolonged symptoms after concussion,” the authors write. “These findings have direct implications on the management of concussion patients, particularly those at high risk for future concussive injuries, such as athletes.”

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