The concussion symptom you may not know about

The concussion symptom you may not know about

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(WJBK) -  A new study is out that may help parents, coaches and athletes pinpoint some of the subtle signs of concussion. Turns out, emotions may be at play.

The research shows teens who've had concussion and feel sensitivity to light or noise may be more at risk to also develop emotional symptoms.

"We've had kids that have had personality changes as their only sign of a concussion. Kids that were very, very jovial and very happy become mean, belligerent, yelling at the umpires after their head injury because they can't control their emotions as well as they could before the injury," says Dr. Rick Figler. He did not take part in the study but treats concussions at Cleveland Clinic.

University of Kentucky researchers studied 37 athletes with concussions age 12 to 17. Twenty-two of them had emotional symptoms like irritability, mood changes or excessive emotional reactions.

Also, 23 percent of the teens with emotional symptoms were also sensitive to light, and 14 percent of them were sensitive to noise.

The 15 kids who did not show emotional symptoms after their concussions did not show the same sensitivity to light and noise.

Researchers say identifying these factors may help to formulate better treatment plans. Dr. Figler says it's another reason parents need to be aware of the subtle signs of concussion.

"The key, by all means, is to make sure that the parents are educated about those subtle signs and if the child's behavior changes from one episode of activity and then afterwards that behavior changes, you need to be aware of that," says Figler.

This comes just as The American Academy of Neurology released a new position paper saying doctors have an ethical duty to protect athletes from concussions, which trumps all other concerns. In other words, playing the sport is not the priority even if that's what the athlete wants.

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