Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Category

STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics)

Abstract/Artist Statement

Mild traumatic brain injuries, otherwise known as concussions, are a low level brain injury that results from blunt force trauma to the head and cause injury to neurons. There are an estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports-related concussions and traumatic brain injuries a year in the United States. Currently, there is a lack of gold standard in the management and treatment of concussion symptoms. Most practices call for rest until symptoms subside, followed by a return to play protocol. Physical activity has been linked to increased brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which can increase neuron repair. Along with this, other symptoms of a concussion such as headaches, have been observed to decrease in other populations due to an exercise. The objective of this systematic review was to determine if low levels of physical activity are a viable treatment for concussions and what its effect is on the return to play timeline and symptom scores. The search engine PubMed was used as the source to search for articles pertaining to the research question. Studies were selected if they included athletes that sustained a diagnosed concussion and used exercise as a treatment. The age of participants was not limited and all studies were published in English. Studies that discussed non-sport concussions were excluded. All available studies were screened and data was extracted by 2 independent reviewers. The search returned 168 records and 6 met all inclusion criteria to be included in this review. All included studies used physical activity as a treatment and all reported improvement. Outcome measurements looked at (1) symptom scores following a PCSS like survey and (2) recovery period reported. Time to recovery ranged from 21 to 84 days with symptom scores decreasing overtime. The groups undergoing prescribed physical activity had a greater decrease in symptoms when compared to the control groups. This systematic review takes a look at a newer way of managing concussions and summarizes the findings. With physical activity being a newer way of managing concussions, very few systematic reviews have been written thus far. In conclusion, physical activity as a means of reducing return to play duration and symptom scores in concussed athletes is viable. By using prescribed physical activity as a management strategy in concussions, it is possible that the return to play timeline could be decreased. We can connect a decrease in symptoms at a faster rate to a shorter return to play time. Clinically, this may be applied in an athletic training setting, where concussions are prevalent. Future research should include a timeline to returning to activity with prescribed physical activity following a concussion.

Mentor Name

Shane Murphy

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The Effectiveness of Prescribed Physical Activity for the Treatment of Post-Concussive Symptoms in an Athletic Population: A Systematic Review.

Mild traumatic brain injuries, otherwise known as concussions, are a low level brain injury that results from blunt force trauma to the head and cause injury to neurons. There are an estimated 1.6-3.8 million sports-related concussions and traumatic brain injuries a year in the United States. Currently, there is a lack of gold standard in the management and treatment of concussion symptoms. Most practices call for rest until symptoms subside, followed by a return to play protocol. Physical activity has been linked to increased brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which can increase neuron repair. Along with this, other symptoms of a concussion such as headaches, have been observed to decrease in other populations due to an exercise. The objective of this systematic review was to determine if low levels of physical activity are a viable treatment for concussions and what its effect is on the return to play timeline and symptom scores. The search engine PubMed was used as the source to search for articles pertaining to the research question. Studies were selected if they included athletes that sustained a diagnosed concussion and used exercise as a treatment. The age of participants was not limited and all studies were published in English. Studies that discussed non-sport concussions were excluded. All available studies were screened and data was extracted by 2 independent reviewers. The search returned 168 records and 6 met all inclusion criteria to be included in this review. All included studies used physical activity as a treatment and all reported improvement. Outcome measurements looked at (1) symptom scores following a PCSS like survey and (2) recovery period reported. Time to recovery ranged from 21 to 84 days with symptom scores decreasing overtime. The groups undergoing prescribed physical activity had a greater decrease in symptoms when compared to the control groups. This systematic review takes a look at a newer way of managing concussions and summarizes the findings. With physical activity being a newer way of managing concussions, very few systematic reviews have been written thus far. In conclusion, physical activity as a means of reducing return to play duration and symptom scores in concussed athletes is viable. By using prescribed physical activity as a management strategy in concussions, it is possible that the return to play timeline could be decreased. We can connect a decrease in symptoms at a faster rate to a shorter return to play time. Clinically, this may be applied in an athletic training setting, where concussions are prevalent. Future research should include a timeline to returning to activity with prescribed physical activity following a concussion.