Two new studies offer good news for any high school athlete who’s suffered a concussion: For most athletes, mental or physical effects may resolve themselves over the long term. One study involving more than 260 high school athletes who’d suffered a concussion found they had no bigger risk for depression within about two years after the injury, compared to peers who hadn’t had such an injury. And a second study, involving more than 1,200 high school athletes, found no differences in self-reported quality of life over two years of follow-up, regardless of whether or not they’d had a concussion. Study author Jerod Keene: “When you consider that, overall, high school athletes have been shown to score higher on quality of life than their non-athlete counterparts, the risk of not playing sports could lead to lower quality of life than playing sports and sustaining concussion,” he theorized.
However, an expert who reviewed the studies stressed that despite the seemingly good news, concussions can have devastating results for some athletes. None of this means that a concussion is harmless and that injuries aren’t sometimes severe. But according to Keene and Schwarz, their findings may offer reassurance to young athletes and their families.