Concussions Could Lead to Depression in Teens


football concussionTwo serious conditions in teens could be related. Those teens who have suffered from a concussion, which is considered to be a mild, traumatic brain injury, have also been found more likely to suffer from psychological effects, including depression, afterwards.

The study was performed using data from the 2007 to 2008 National Survey of Children’s Health, according to an article in Science Daily News. This data included health information from more than 36,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17, where 2.7 percent of the sample examined had experienced a concussion, and 3.4 percent were currently suffering from depression.

Important to note was that when researchers eliminated associated factors, including those teens who lived in poverty or who had a parent suffering with mental health issues, the association between concussions and depressions remained the same.

Although depression in teens is a serious issue, it is not known whether this newfound link between depression and concussion is a direct one. There is also the potential that it could be the result of the brain injury itself; diagnostic bias related to repeated medical visits for the injury; misdiagnosis of symptoms of concussion, instead for depression; or as a result of social isolation that occurs during the recovery period.

The original report of findings in the scientific journal, the Journal of Adolescent Health, explains that teens with a history of concussions are three times as likely to suffer from depression as those who have never had this type of injury. With these significant types of odds, teens who have received a concussion may benefit from screening for depression.
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