Concussion? To heal faster, don’t tax your brain

Concussion? To heal faster, don’t tax your brain

By: Michelle Healy, USA Today

Resting the brain after a concussion — limiting reading, online activities, even homework — can result in quicker recovery, a new study says.

In a study of 335 kids and young adults ages 8 to 23, those reporting the most mental activity took the longest to fully recover — 100 days on average. It took 20 to 50 days for patients reporting less cognitive activity, defined in the journal Pediatrics as “activities that require you to think harder than usual.”

But “there’s no need to take cognitive rest to the extreme,” such as staying in a dark room, says study co-author William Meehan, director of the Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention in Waltham, Mass. Those doing mild cognitive activity did about as well as those with minimal levels.

Between 1.7 million and 3 million sports-related concussions occur every year, and half go undetected, says the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Sports Medicine Concussion Program.