Study: MTBI has Elevated Effect on Academic Performance

Given that mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) are common among high school athletes, accounting for 13% of all injuries, surprisingly few studies have looked closely at MTBI’s effect on academic performance. Recognizing this discrepancy, researchers at the University of Rochester designed a study to compare the effect of MTBI on student academic performance to that of other injuries. The study found that concussed students took longer to return to school (as compared to individuals with orthopedic injuries), that a greater percentage of the concussion group received academic adjustments, and that female students and those with two or more previous concussions experienced generally worse effects and slower recoveries. However, there were no differences overall between the concussed vs. orthopedic group one month after the injury. In light of the conclusions reached in the study, which was published in the July issue of the American Journal of Public Health, the authors suggest improving so-called ‘return-to-learn’ guidelines and academic accommodations for brain-injured students based on risk factors such as multiple prior concussions.

Photo by Camw - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0.