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A new study has discovered that the effects of mild to moderate concussions on brain activity may be much longer lasting than previously believed, according to a U.S. News & World Report article. While severity of the injury can still be expected to correlate somewhat to outcome, it is less of a straightforward connection than researchers expected.

The study, which was published in Neurology and online, found that people who had recently suffered relatively minor concussions scored 25% lower on thinking and memory tests than healthy people. However, one year after the injury, those who had suffered minor concussions still had evidence of brain damage on imaging tests, despite the fact that their test scores had improved. Andrew Blamire, the senior author of the study and professor at the U.K.’s Newcastle University, pointed out that the results are particularly important because 90% of traumatic brain injuries are classified as “mild to moderate.” According to the American Academy of Neurology, 2 to 4 million concussions occur from sports and recreation in the U.S. every year, with most sufferers experiencing a full recovery from their injury.

Returning to normal levels of athletic activity too soon after a concussion could delay recovery and increase the likelihood of re-injury, says Dr. Michael O’Brien, director of Boston Children’s Hospital’s sports concussion clinic.

If someone in your family has experienced a traumatic brain injury, get in touch with the brain injury attorneys at Hodes Milman Liebeck today at 866-730-1976, or go online at hmlm.com for a free consultation.