In some recent research by Custer et al. (2016), researchers examined differences in baseline scores and their outcomes after a concussion. The researchers divided the subjects into two groups “no symptoms” and “high symptoms”. The researchers then assessed the patients 2-7 days after their concussion with the IMPACT™ system. The researchers found that the “high symptom” group had a greater decline in their verbal and visual memory scores.
However, the researchers also found that the “high symptom” group’s reported symptoms such as dizziness and nausea did not increase from baseline to when they got their concussion. This finding, in particular, would lead us to believe that if a patient has symptoms at baseline they might be at a higher risk for prolonged time away from athletics or school/work.
Moreover, it is important to note that this study only looked at patients on the extreme ends of the spectrum in terms of symptom reporting. The researchers excluded patients with low levels of symptoms wich might have been a valuable analysis to compare with the no symptom group and the high symptom group. None the less, this research still has value by demonstrating that there seems to be a relation between the number of symptoms reported at baseline and the risk for worse outcomes of a concussion.
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