Brain may recover from concussion by compensating - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader

Brain may recover from concussion by compensating

Updated: Aug 24, 2013 09:06 AM
© Thinkstock / Comstock / Thinkstock © Thinkstock / Comstock / Thinkstock
  • What's Going AroundMore>>

  • What's Going Around - April 16th

    What's Going Around - April 16th

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 11:16 AM EDT2014-04-16 15:16:33 GMT
    Sinus infections are going around this week. Nurse Practitioner Christy Johnson from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says, "A sinus infection is inflammation or swelling of your sinuses. WhenMore >>
    A sinus infection can make a person feel miserable. More >>
  • What's Going Around - April 2nd

    What's Going Around - April 2nd

    Wednesday, April 2 2014 11:29 AM EDT2014-04-02 15:29:17 GMT
    It's allergy season, and a lot of patients are struggling right now. Dr. Brian Shaheen from Bay Medical-Sacred Heart Family Medicine says symptoms of allergies include: Congestion Clear nasal dischargeMore >>
    The first signs of pollen also signal the start of allergy season. More >>

FRIDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Concussion patients have irregular brain activity within the first 24 hours after their injury but increased levels of brain activity a few weeks later, which suggests that the brain may compensate for the injury during recovery, a new study reports.

Researchers used functional MRI to study the recovery of 12 high school football players with concussion and compared them to 12 uninjured teammates. The concussed players underwent brain scans at 13 hours and again seven weeks after their head injury, and the uninjured players had brain scans at the same time.

At 13 hours, the concussed athletes had typical symptoms such as decreased reaction time and reduced mental abilities. Their brain scans revealed decreased activity in certain areas of the right hemisphere of the brain. This suggests that their reduced mental abilities may be related to underactivation of attentional brain circuits, according to the researchers.

At seven weeks, the concussed players showed improvement in their mental abilities and normal reaction time. Brain scans at that time revealed that the concussed athletes had more activation in the brain's attentional circuits than the uninjured players.

"This hyperactivation may represent a compensatory brain response that mediates recovery," study lead author Thomas Hammeke, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin, said in a college news release. "This is the first study to demonstrate that reversal in activation patterns, and that reversal matches the progression of symptoms from the time of the injury through clinical recovery."

The study appears in the September issue of the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.

"Deciding when a concussed player should return to the playing field is currently an inexact science," study senior author Dr. Stephen Rao, director of the Schey Center for Cognitive Neuroimaging at the Cleveland Clinic, said in the news release. "Measuring changes in brain activity during the acute recovery period can provide a scientific basis for making this critical decision."

More information

The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about concussion.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.