Research Reports - Mild traumatic brain injury and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in young student athletes

J Nerv Ment Dis. 2015 Nov;203(11):813-9. doi: 10.1097/NMD.0000000000000375.

Biederman J(1), Feinberg L, Chan J, Adeyemo BO, Woodworth KY, Panis W, McGrath N,
Bhatnagar S, Spencer TJ, Uchida M, Kenworthy T, Grossman R, Zafonte R, Faraone

A recent meta-analysis documented a significant statistical association between
mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
(ADHD) (Adeyemo et al., 2014), but the direction of this effect was unclear. In
this study, we hypothesized that ADHD would be an antecedent risk factor for
mTBI. Participants were student athletes ages 12 to 25 who had sustained a mTBI
and Controls of similar age and sex selected from studies of youth with and
without ADHD. Subjects were assessed for symptoms of ADHD, concussion severity,
and cognitive function. mTBI subjects had a significantly higher rate of ADHD
than Controls, and in all cases the age of onset of ADHD was before mTBI onset.
mTBI+ADHD subjects also had more severe concussion symptoms (fatigue and poor
concentration) than mTBI-ADHD subjects. These results support ADHD as an
antecedent risk factor for mTBI in student athletes and that its presence
complicates the course of mTBI.

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