We’ve written before about concussions and the subsequent dangers to everyone from NFL players and high school athletes, to just anyone taking a fall on an icy sidewalk.
Now there’s more. Recent research from the Canadian Medical Association has found that concussions may cause a long-term risk of suicide.
According to the study: “Information was collected on 235,110 individuals who had a history of concussion over a 20-year period, from 1992 to 2012. In the group there were 667 subsequent suicides — equivalent to 31 deaths per 100,000 people, or three times the suicide rate in the population as a whole, researchers found.”
Further “The study’s authors said that while their findings support past research on how concussions can have lasting effects on physiology, mood and behavior, they cautioned that further research is needed.”
Dr. Donald Redelmeier, professor of medicine at the University of Toronto and a lead researcher in the study, said the findings emphasize that it’s important for medical providers to be aware of a patient’s concussion history.
“Mild concussions, although invisible at the time of the incident, could be dangerous later on,” Redelmeier told ABC News. “It is important that even years after a concussion, not to forget about it and to inform your doctor of your history.”
Dr. Allen Sills, a professor of neurosurgery at Vanderbilt University, said suicide has become a major concern for medical providers.
At the same time, ABC reports that one medical company, Quanterix, says they’re developing machines that will rapidly identify concussions much more quickly.
This new technology will identify a concussion in less than one hour, by using a blood test identifying proteins that show brain trauma. The system has been tested on NHL players and it can show if there has been a concussion, how bad it is, and an estimate on when the player might be able to resume action.
Further research is quickly being done and is backed by a grant from GE and the NFL. The result of the tests could be ready as soon as later this year.
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