Posttraumatic Headaches and Sports Concussions

Given that post-traumatic headache is one of the most prevalent and long-lasting post-concussion sequelae, causes significant morbidity, and might be associated with slower neurocognitive recovery, a new study in the Journal of Headache and Pain evaluates the use of concussion screening scores in a concussion clinic population to assess for post-traumatic headache. Using a retrospective cross-sectional study of 254 concussion patients from the New York University (NYU) Concussion Registry, data on the headache characteristics, concussion mechanism, concussion screening scores were collected and analyzed. Results showed 72% of the patients had post-traumatic headache. About half (56.3%) were women. The mean age was 35 (SD 16.2). 90 (35%) patients suffered from sport-related concussions (SRC). Daily post-traumatic headache patients had higher Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT)-3 symptom severity scores than the non-daily post-traumatic headache and the headache-free patients (50.2 [SD 28.2] vs. 33.1 [SD 27.5] vs. 21.6 SD23], p < 0.001). Patients with SRC had lower headache intensity (4.47 [SD 2.5] vs. 6.24 [SD 2.28], p < 0.001) and SCAT symptom severity scores (33.9 [SD 27.4] vs. 51.4 [SD 27.7], p < 0.001) than the other patients, but there were no differences in post-traumatic headache prevalence, frequency, and Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) scores.  in conclusion, the presence and frequency of post-traumatic headache are associated with the SCAT-3 symptom severity score, which is the most important predictor for post-concussion recovery. The SCAT-3 symptom severity score might be a useful tool to help characterize patients’ post-traumatic headache.

For the abstract

           

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