We have written in the past about how athletes who receive a concussion require a certain amount of physical rest before they can be allowed to return to the playing field. Failure to stop physical activity after a concussion can increase the risk for a second, far more hazardous brain injury.
Repeated concussions can have a serious effect on a person's life, even leading to long-term or permanent health issues. As such, it is important that everyone is allowed the chance to fully recover from a concussion.
According to a recent study, however, that recovery time may require more than a limit on physical stress. Patients may require a hiatus from mental stress as well.
The study found that patients who experienced cognitive rest in the days following their injury were able to recover more quickly. The study was centered around children age 8 to 23, as the developing brains in this age group are more susceptible to brain injuries.
Nearly half of the children who did not cut back on mental strain saw recovery times of over 100 days. By contrast, nearly all of the the children who cut back on brain work the most had recovered fully before 100 days had passed.
The reason for this, according to a Los Angeles professor of neurology, is that a concussion causes a large disruption in the brain - a sort of miniature seizure. That seizure causes damage that requires a great deal of recovery time. If the brain remains at rest during this recovery time, it will be able to repair the damage more quickly.
As our knowledge of concussions advances, so does our understanding of the many ways in which a concussion can affect and disrupt a patient's life. This is of great importance for those pursuing a personal injury claim, as injured victims deserve to be compensated for the full effect of the injury - not simply the medical bills. Continued advances, then, will help us to not only treat patients more effectively, but compensate them more fairly if the injury was caused by another party's negligence.
Source: NBC News, "Skip the homework if you've got a concussion" Linda Carroll, Jan. 05, 2014