Last updated on May 2019

Treatment for Patients With Chronic Post-Concussion Symptoms

Brief description of study

The current project will examine the effect of a brief psychological intervention on post-concussion symptoms, neurocognitive function, cerebral blood flow (CBF), and psychophysiological and salivary cortisol markers of autonomic nervous system (ANS) in a sample of 20 participants between 13-25 years of age who experience long-term post-concussive (PC) symptoms 2-9 months post-injury as well as 20 age- and sex-matched controls (non-injured) participants to provide normative data on all the above measures except for concussive symptoms.

Detailed Study Description

Participants with concussion will participate in six, home-based interventions designed to treat cognitive-behavioral factors that are maintaining their symptoms. The investigators hypothesize that the prolonged PC symptoms are in part due to disruption of autonomic nervous system function post-injury as well as exacerbation by the psychological response to the injury. This hypothesis is based on evidence showing that PC symptoms, including headache, fatigue, dizziness, and heightened anxiety overlap with upregulated sympathetic activity and elevated levels of salivary cortisol. There is evidence linking cognitive-behavioral factors (e.g., catastrophizing) to prolonged symptoms of autonomic overactivation after injury (e.g., anxiety, pain, etc.). The participants are taught shallow breathing techniques to normalize parasympathetic activity and provide cognitive-behavioral treatment to reduce psychological reactions to the injury that exacerbate the autonomic disruption and prolong recovery.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03759808

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Recruitment Status: Open

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