NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A new test can predict if children will suffer from prolonged symptoms from concussions.

CBS2’s Dr. Max Gomez reported Wednesday Canadian researchers evaluated just over 3,000 patients between the ages of 5 to 18. Nearly 30 percent ended up with persistent post-concussion symptoms at 28 days.

The study in the Journal of the American Medical Association looked at 46 possible signs for concussion.

“After they evaluated those 46 variables, they came up with nine variables that were fairly predictive of post-concussive symptoms,” Dr. Lynn Babcock, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, told CBS2.

The clinical variables were used in a 12-point risk score. They included things like age, sex, history of migraines or depression, prior history of concussion and problems with balance.

“It’s variables that we would normally capture in the emergency department but now it’s compiled into one decision rule,” Babcock told CBS2.

While this new scoring system is available now, researchers say further research is needed to show how good it really is at predicting lasting concussion symptoms.

Johnny Coburn is back playing hockey after recently being sidelined with a concussion.

“It was a really bad headache, just really bad,” he told CBS2.

Mike Coburn, Johnny’s father, said he knew his son suffered a severe concussion.

“I knew that the severity of the concussion was much greater than five days or seven days of rest would fix,” Coburn said.

More than half of children treated in emergency rooms end up with headaches after a concussion.

“Parents usually ask about, well how long is my son or daughter going to have symptoms and what’s going to go on after that and what do I have to do? But there’s no good way at this moment in time to actually predict those that are going to go on to have persistent symptoms following the emergency department visit,” Babcock told CBS2.

Johnny is now feeling much better.

“I’m looking forward to playing with my team for a few years, playing really good hockey in college and hoping that I get to the NHL,” he told CBS2.

For now, the only real treatment for a concussion is total brain rest – no television, sports, video games, school, or homework.

Every year, emergency departments treat about 750,000 children with concussions.


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