New research suggests concussion effects may linger weeks after symptoms of dizziness and headaches have disappeared. School-safety experts are focusing attention on the impact of concussions on classroom performance. A small study of 28 patients by New York University researchers published earlier this year in the journal Radiology found that brain changes could be detected up to a year after even one mild concussion.
Brain-injury specialists say the mental exertion of normal classwork could even worsen the effects of a concussion. The harder students recovering from a concussion try to focus on any mental activity, the more severe their headaches or dizziness may become.
The cognitive effects of a blow to the head on the playing field can temporarily make focusing on studies, taking tests or listening in classrooms more difficult, several pediatric neurologists said. Concussion-related memory problems, mental sluggishness and inability to focus can affect grades, SAT scores and placement test results.