Approximately one-third of children who experience a concussion will experience persistent post-concussion symptoms. Researchers have developed a new clinical scoring system that may help predict which patients are at a higher risk for prolonged symptoms.
Canadian researchers evaluated more than 3,000 patients, ages 5 to 18, who presented within 48 hours of an acute head injury. About thirty percent ended up with persistent post-concussion symptoms at 28 days. Researchers identified nine clinical factors that were predictive of post-concussive symptoms. These factors were then used in a twelve point risk score that included items like age, sex, history of migraines or depression, prior history of concussion, and problems with balance.
Although the clinical score was better than a physician’s judgement alone, further research is needed before it is fully adopted into clinical practice.