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Does more mental activity help you recover from a brain injury?

If you suffer a concussion, you want to do everything you can to recover as much as possible and as soon as possible. While adults might want to go back to work immediately or kids might want to continue sports or other activities, a break should be taken. Without one, your recovery could take longer than it would with proper rest. An interesting fact that has been discovered is that adolescents, particularly those who have to participate in high level mental activities, could actually be hurting their recoveries by participating in these tasks and hobbies.

A study reported on by CBC news from the peer-reviewed Pediatrics journal showed that those engaged in high level mental activities took around 100 days to recover from the symptoms related to a concussion, while those who had lower-level mental activities to perform recovered in 20 to 50 days. Why the difference? Doing too much too soon can be overwhelming, while keeping active in itself may not be detrimental.

Some common symptoms that result from a concussion include amnesia, confusion, headache, dizziness and fatigue. By tracking 335 people between the ages of 8 and 23, the researchers were able to track how activities influenced recovery. Those who had no restrictions were rated at 4, which means full cognitive activity, and those at 0 were unable to read, do homework, take tests or perform other similar tasks throughout the study.

When it was found that those with fewer mental tasks recovered faster, the doctors quickly pointed out that adjusting tasks at school could help those who were suffering from concussions and working through recovery. By limiting work, the brain has more downtime, which is time it can use to heal. Students had less to do and worry about, which could mean they get more sleep and rest. For those impacted by the loss of time at school or work, a personal injury attorney can help you seek compensation for the losses.

Source: CBC News, "Concussion recovery delayed by mental activity, study shows," accessed Oct. 04, 2016

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