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Recovery From Concussion Longer for Athletes With ADHD

Athletes with ADHD had more symptoms at 24 to 48 hours, regardless of psychostimulant use

THURSDAY, July 18, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Athletes with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with concussion seem to have longer recovery than controls, regardless of their psychostimulant medication status, according to a study presented at the American Academy of Neurology Sports Concussion Conference, held from July 26 to 28 in Indianapolis.

R. Davis Moore, Ph.D., and Brett Steven Gunn, from the University of South Carolina in Columbia, evaluated concussion recovery in collegiate athletes with ADHD who were and were not taking psychostimulant medications. Data were included for 20 athletes with ADHD who were not taking psychostimulant medications (Rx−ADHD), 20 athletes with ADHD who were taking psychostimulant medications (Rx+ADHD), and 80 controls.

The researchers found that compared with controls, athletes in the Rx−ADHD and Rx+ADHD groups exhibited prolonged symptom duration (10.4 ± 1.5 and 11.9 ± 1.7 days, respectively, versus 4.2 ± 0.8 days). In univariate analyses, compared with controls, both groups with ADHD had poorer verbal memory and greater total symptoms at 24 to 48 hours after the injury. Compared with controls, athletes in the Rx−ADHD group had poorer cognitive efficiency at 24 to 48 hours after the injury and at return to play. Compared with controls, athletes in the Rx+ADHD group had slower visual motor speed at 24 to 48 hours after the injury and at return to play.

“Athletes with ADHD should be monitored with this in mind, as they may be more susceptible to prolonged recovery,” Moore said in a statement.

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