ADHD and Concussion

concussionIf you have ADHD, are you more apt to suffer a concussion? Is there a relationship between ADHD and concussion? First, I think it’s important for us to understand what a concussion is, and it’s of particular significance for athletic coaches and parents of ADHD kids.

Over the last decade, concussion has been a hot topic in the news because we’ve seen reports of several professional athletes who have suffered concussions. Many people often confuse traumatic brain injury with concussion, but there is a significant difference.

For instance, getting knocked out from a hit on the head may result in traumatic brain injury. A concussion is a different animal. Taking a blow to the head or the face, or really any part of the body, can cause a concussion. It results in an acute change in the way you think and feel, and it’s not restricted to athletes by any stretch of the imagination.

A concussion makes you feel stunned. You might see stars or maybe shake your head to get the cobwebs out or possibly feel a little off balance. Concussion has a whole series of symptoms, that often go away very quickly. But if they do last, it’s usually not more than a couple of days. But what experts now know is that the brain remembers these episodes.

To diagnose concussion, physicians look for a change in the brain’s baseline. Most high school sports across the country, as well as professional and collegiate sports teams, will perform a simple test on each player before the season starts to establish a baseline when there is no injury. This test measures a number of things like balance, ability to think, and how the eyes track, as well as signs of any previous injury.

So, how does concussion relate to ADHD? Especially since both ADHD and concussion seem to have overlapping symptoms. To learn more about diagnosing and treating concussions and how they relate to ADHD, I spoke with David A. Baron, MD, who is an expert on the subject. Please check out my interview with him on Attention Talk Radio, “ADHD and Concussion.”  Here’s the link:

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