A study of high school and college football players suggests that biomarkers in the blood may have potential use in identifying which players are more likely to need a longer recovery time after concussion, according to a study published in Neurology. The study involved 41 high school and college football players who experienced a concussion during the season. None of the players lost consciousness with their concussions. The players were matched with 43 football players of the same level, age and position who did not have a concussion. Those who did not have concussions had tests at similar times for comparison.
The biomarkers interleukin 6 and interleukin 1 were both elevated at six hours after concussion. Athletes with higher levels of interleukin 6 six hours after the injury were also more likely to take longer to recover from their symptoms. Overall, the athletes with concussions had symptoms for an average of 8.9 days. Eight of the 17 athletes with concussion and high interleukin 6 levels at six hours after injury, compared to their levels at the beginning of the season, still had concussion symptoms eight days after the injury.