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April 2018

Determining If Rest Is Best After Concussion

Author Affiliations
  • 1UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, David Geffen School of Medicine and UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital, University of California, Los Angeles
  • 3Department of Pediatric Rehabilitation, Child Health Research Centre, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(4):399-400. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.0006

“You’re supposed to rest after concussion.” This advice has been given countless times to patients and athletes recovering from concussion. How did we get here, what is the evidence that brought us here, and what does the evolving evidence actually tell us?

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), and specifically concussions or mild TBIs (mTBIs), have captured the attention of the media, general public, and medical community. As TBI is projected to become one of the top causes of mortality and morbidity worldwide by 2020, this attention seems well founded. Mild TBI or concussion is the most common type of TBI, and frequently occurs in a sport-related setting, where it may be confounded by factors such as pediatric age and risk for recurrent injuries. Within the United States, an estimated 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports-related TBIs occur annually. Worldwide, it is estimated that there are more than 10 million hospitalizations or deaths due to TBI, with many times that number of individuals experiencing mTBI.

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