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Recovery from sports-related concussion slower than believed
Date:5/27/2014

Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have shown that analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid after concussion can be used to determine the magnitude of brain injury and to follow its course. The studies show that recovery from concussion takes much longer time than previously known, and this may be of major significance for athletes of all ages in return to play considerations.

Sanna Neselius is a scientist at the Sahlgrenska Academy and member of the medical commission of the Swedish Boxing Federation. Her previous studies have shown that amateur boxing causes damage to nerve cells, that can take more than two weeks to heal. This discovery led to her being offered a place in the International Olympic Committee's expert group for boxing-related head injuries.

Sanna Neselius has now defended her doctoral thesis at the Sahlgrenska Academy, in which she shows that sports-related concussion heals much slower than previously known.

Four months recovery

"It has previously been believed that concussion heals in 7-10 days, and the Swedish Boxing Federation has decided the rest period to be of one month after a concussion, in order to be on the safe side. But our studies show that a concussion, such as may be experienced after being knocked out, can take more than four months to heal," says Sanna Neselius, who is herself a former boxer.

Further, the results show that repetitive head trauma in boxing, damages nerve cells in the brain, even though the boxer may not show any concussion symptoms.

Prevent resuming too early

Concussion is one of the most common sports-related injuries, and more athletes experience it every year. In recent years, focus has been directed on the effects of repeated concussions, in which athletes in such sports as ice hockey may be affected by long-term effects.

The cerebrospinal fluid samples analysed by Sanna Neselius and her colleagues can be followed until normaliza
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Contact: Sanna Neselius
sanna@neselius.com
46-706-101-014
University of Gothenburg
Source:Eurekalert  

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