The following is excerpted from an online article posted by HealthDay.
Kids who’ve suffered a concussion are at heightened risk of mental health issues in the aftermath, a large new study suggests.
The researchers found that compared with their peers, children and teenagers with a past concussion were 39% more likely to be diagnosed with a mental health condition — including anxiety disorders, depression, and behavioral disorders. They were also at greater risk of inflicting self-injuries.
Experts stressed that most kids with concussions fully recover, and the findings are not cause for alarm.
Instead, they said, the study underscores the importance of taking concussions seriously, and paying attention to kids’ mental health afterward.
“The association between concussion and mental health outcomes is seen in some kids — not all,” said lead researcher Andree-Anne Ledoux, of the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, in Ottawa, Canada.
For families, she said, it’s important to be aware that mental health problems can arise after a concussion. If they notice any “worrying indicators,” Ledoux said, they can talk to their health care provider.
The findings are based on medical records from nearly 449,000 Ontario children and teens, aged 5 to 18. More than 152,000 had sustained a concussion, while the rest were treated for an orthopedic injury. None had a history of treatment for a mental health condition, or for a previous concussion within the past five years.