The Relationship Between Visually Evoked Effects and Concussion in Youth

After experiencing a concussion, flickering lights can produce somatic sensations such as nausea or headache. A recent study featuring PISC Senior Scholar Kristy Arbogast, PhD, evaluates the relationship between visually evoked events and youth concussion. The somatic responses of 81 uninjured youth were compared to the somatic responses of 84 concussed youth. Visually evoked events were represented by flickering lights. Variations were grouped into localized eye effects and generalized neurologic symptoms. Results indicate that 35.7% of concussed youth experienced generalized neurologic symptoms, while only 1.2% of uninjured youth experienced generalized neurological symptoms. Moreover, brain-predominant effects are directly proportional to concussion symptom burden. The team concludes that “somatic sensations in response to a dynamic visual stimulus are a salient marker of concussion and are indicative of more severe concussion symptomology.”

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