Harmful behaviours more likely among teens with concussion history: study
By Sheryl Ubelacker The Canadian PressFeatures Clinical Patient Care
Oct. 1, 2014 – A new study has found that teens who have suffered a concussion or other traumatic brain injury report higher rates of harmful behaviours – and the finding is particularly evident among girls.
The Canadian study looked at 13 harmful health behaviours that included
contemplating suicide, smoking marijuana and binge drinking among almost
9,300 Ontario students in Grades 7 to 12.
Teens who had a
history of brain trauma were more likely than their uninjured peers to
engage in a variety of harmful behaviours, but females were found to
engage in more than their male counterparts.
The research showed
girls after a brain injury were more likely than boys to have smoked
cigarettes, been bullied, contemplated suicide or experienced greater
Lead author Dr. Gabriela Ilie of St.
Michael's Hospital in Toronto says the behavioural gap may be due to the
underlying biological and social differences between girls and boys.
define a traumatic brain injury as any blow to the head that resulted
in loss of consciousness for at least five minutes or spending at least
one night in hospital.
“Parents, clinicians, teachers and coaches
need to take all brain injuries, including concussions, seriously
because their effects can affect students' formative years,” said Ilie, a
Doctors, schools, parents and coaches need to
be vigilant in monitoring adolescents with a concussion or other brain
injury as they can exacerbate mental health and behavioural issues, she
The study is published in the online journal PLOS ONE.
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