Frequent Concussions Can Increase Multiple Sclerosis Risk Later in Life
Young athletes who suffer frequent concussions have a higher risk of suffering multiple sclerosis later in life.
These findings were part of a study recently published in the journal Annals of Neurology. Researchers in Sweden analyzed medical histories of Swedes who had been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis since 1964. When the same data was compared with another control group, the researchers found that the risk of development of multiple sclerosis later in life was higher in people who had suffered multiple head injuries during their youth. Persons who had suffered at least one concussion were 22% more likely to suffer symptoms of multiple sclerosis later in life, compared to those who had not suffered such injuries. In the case of multiple concussions, the likelihood increased by a staggering 150%.
The study also revealed that concussions do not seem to be so damaging when they occur during childhood. Adolescent brains seem to be much less resilient, making them more vulnerable to the long-term effects of consistent concussions.