September 7, 2017 (Medical News Today)
While the symptoms of brain injury are often short-term, brain injuries can lead to complications for brain health in the long-term. Recently, researchers have identified a link between concussions in adolescents and a later-life multiple sclerosis (MS) risk.
Data from the national Swedish Patient and Multiple Sclerosis registers was used to identify 7,292 patients with MS. Each MS patient was individually matched by demographics such as sex, birth year, age at MS diagnosis, and location, with 10 people who did not have MS. For this study, researchers also identified any occurrence of concussion among these individuals during childhood and during adolescence.
The study revealed that while there was no association between concussion in childhood and MS risk later in life, those who had one concussion in adolescence were 22 percent more like to develop MS later in life. The risk of MS was further increased for those who had more than one concussion.
This revelation is serves as yet another reason to take measures to protect adolescence from head injuries.
Published in the Annals of Neurology.