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Clinical Trials Update
March 26, 2019

Moderate Physical Activity Speeds Recovery in Concussed Teens

JAMA. 2019;321(12):1149. doi:10.1001/jama.2019.2493

Adolescents with sports-related concussions recovered more quickly when they underwent a supervised aerobic exercise regimen, reported a study in JAMA Pediatrics. The findings contradict the standard of care: rest until symptoms resolve.

Trial participants, 103 athletes ages 13 to 18 years, were randomly assigned to an aerobic exercise program or to a control group who did stretching exercises within 10 days after sustaining a sports-related concussion. Those in the exercise group were prescribed workouts individually tailored to an intensity that did not exacerbate concussion symptoms, with a new target heart rate set weekly as symptoms improved. All participants exercised 20 minutes per day and wore heart rate monitors to avoid exceeding their threshold while exercising.

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