Study: Students with concussions struggle more academically

Posted at 7:34 PM, Oct 02, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-02 20:39:13-04

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin researchers have linked concussions to academic struggles.

University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have found that university students with concussions struggle about 14 percent more than students with other injuries, such as broken bones, torn ligaments or sprains, the Wisconsin State Journal reported .

Students with concussions reported struggling to pay attention, trouble with time management, difficulty taking notes and nervousness before tests. The 2016 survey didn't examine grades or tests scores.

"This is a very important time of their life, where they're growing independent, making career decisions and planning a future," said Traci Snedden, an assistant professor of nursing at the university who's leading the research. "If their academic experience is affected because of their cognitive deficits, there potentially could be long-term ramifications."

Little research has been done on how concussions affect college students' academic performance in the short-term, Snedden said.

"We don't have any (guidelines) right now for the college students, so they're self-advocating what they might need, but often they don't know what they need," Snedden said. "They're continuing to go to their high-level college courses, potentially not doing well in a high-stakes mid-term or final exam."

The study found that students should take certain steps when returning to school following a concussion, including decreasing class load, taking tests in a quiet area and getting more time to finish projects.

Researchers now are recruiting area high school athletes to participate in weekly surveys monitoring academic and functional activities for a month after getting a concussion.