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Authors: Johnson, Jakobi
Advisors: Pacala, Stephen
Department: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Class Year: 2015
Abstract: Recently, concussions have been one the largest public health problems for healthcare professionals. They are a seemingly unpreventable aspect of many different sports. A concussion can be defined as a complex biological process that results from biomechanical forces acting on the head that can affect normal brain functioning. If not treated properly and carefully, concussions may lead to prolonged symptoms and a higher risk of developing brain disorders later in life. Some of the most easily recognizable symptoms of concussions include: dizziness, loss of consciousness, and headache. Finding a viable treatment, and a way to evaluate concussion severity and future effects, presents a major challenge for healthcare providers. Presently, most treatments consist of rest from cognitive and physical activity. Healthcare professionals decide how and when patients can gradually return-to-play and return to other activities based on how symptoms are displayed. Since most of what we can see from concussions is based on symptoms reported by concussed individuals and their healthcare professionals, this study takes a deeper look at concussion symptoms and post-concussion syndrome. This study analyzes data from twenty-three different studies using multiple statistical tests (t-test, ANOVA Chi-Squared) to determine which concussion symptoms are statistically significant. This thesis shows that most of the common concussion symptoms are found at high enough frequencies to reject the null hypothesis of a frequency of zero. This study also revealed that some symptoms occur at a higher frequency in the general population than in the concussion samples. Moreover, the ANOVA test showed that many of the symptoms had complex interactions. Future studies should investigate these associational relationships to identify the mechanisms. This thesis also provides support for the testing of blood for endocrine and hormone levels to get a more complete measurement of the severity and proper treatments that should follow concussions.
Extent: 74 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 1992-2016

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