Ten of the 12 participants were completely free of symptoms at follow-up. One participant still experienced cognitive and visual symptoms, and another, who had a history of migraines, continued to experience headaches.
"The data suggest that some PCS symptoms are related to disturbed cerebral autoregulation, and that after this treatment, the brain was able to regulate blood flow when the blood pressure rose during exercise," says Leddy. "We think progressive stepwise aerobic training may improve cerebral autoregulation by conditioning the brain to gradually adapt to repetitive mild elevations of systolic blood pressure."
Kozlowski adds that although each concussion should be considered a "unique injury," a randomized trial that included a PCS control group should be conducted to address the possibility that PCS symptoms would have resolved spontaneously without intervention.
"All of our subjects had been symptomatic for months before treatment and were not getting better on their own," says Kozlowski, "so we are pretty convinced that the regulated exercise program did the trick." A grant application to NIH to conduct such a randomized trial currently is under review.
|Contact: Lois Baker|
University at Buffalo