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Children With ADHD Should Stay Away from Sports Like Basketball and Football

By Vishakha Sonawane / Jun 27, 2013 10:26 AM EDT
  • ADHD
  • (Photo : Flickr) The study researchers found that children suffering from ADHD had comparatively higher chances of suffering a moderate disability after surviving a mild traumatic brain injury than children without the condition.

Children with ADHD  ( Attention Deficit hyperactivity Disorder) should stay away from sports such as football or basketball as they are at a greater risk of getting head injuries, which may result in moderate disabilities, a new study suggest.

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"This was a phenomenon that I had noticed in my own practice -- some children with ADHD didn't recover as well following a traumatic brain injury," said senior study author Dr Stephanie Greene, an assistant professor of neurological surgery at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. She further said that some symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) add to the ADHD symptoms. "The effects of the (traumatic brain injury) may be additive to those of ADHD," she explained.

For the study, Dr Greene and her colleagues examined medical charts of all patients at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh who had ADHD and were diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury between 2003 and 2010. Around 48 of these children were compared with a control group of 45 children without ADHD who had also sustained a mild traumatic brain injury.

Using a coma scale measurement known as the King's Outcome Scale for Childhood Head Injury (KOSCHI),   the researchers found that 25 per cent of the patients with ADHD had a moderate disability and 56 per cent recovered completely. Compared to this, patients without ADHD had 2 per cent moderate disability and 84 per cent recovered fully

Rather than allowing ADHD children to play games such as basketball and football, they should be told to swim or track where their chances of getting head injury are lower, suggested Dr Greene.

Nearly 8 percent of US children suffer from ADHD, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The statistics reveal that traumatic brain injuries lead to over 7,000 deaths, 60,000 hospitalizations and 600,000 emergency room visits annually in the country.


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