Study: Concussions can impair cardiovascular system

A new study suggests that sports-related concussions can also cause temporary impairment of the cardiovascular system. An article on the study will be published in the American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology.

According to the American Physiological Society (APS), researchers studied 12 college students who suffered concussions while playing recreational sports and matched them with a control group of subjects who had never suffered a concussion. Tests were administered at two days, three days, one week and two weeks post-concussion.

From the APS:

Concussed volunteers had significantly higher resting blood pressure and changes in blood pressure while standing in the acute tests. Heart rate during forced breathing also increased in the early post-concussion tests. Symptoms “were evident up to 48 hours post-injury, but they resolved by 72 hours post-concussion,” wrote the research team. “Our study provides additional support to a growing body of evidence that concussive injury can temporarily disrupt autonomic control of cardiovascular function and that this dysfunction may be an effective biomarker for concussion recovery.”

The full article and a copy of the study can be found here

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