Tell us more about yourself and the author team
Angela Lumba-Brown is an emergency medicine physician and co-director of the Stanford Brain Performance Center. She, and many of the investigative team, sit on the Pac-12 Brain Trauma Taskforce advising concussion research and policy.
What is the story behind your study?
Dr. Lumba-Brown led work pioneering concussion subtypes which include a focus anxiety and mood disruption symptoms. Clinically, including in acute settings, a subset of patients with mild traumatic brain injury/concussion describe mood-based symptoms that may be related to the pathophysiology of brain injury. To explore this further, this study sought to understand the prevalence of anxiety and mood-disruption symptoms and related factors in this cohort.
In your own words, what did you find?
Anxiety and mood disruption symptoms are common among college student-athletes, both prior to injury and following mild traumatic brain injury. Almost ALL student-athletes will experience symptoms of anxiety and/or mood disruption following concussion.
What was the main challenge you faced in your study?
While several mood-based symptoms were examined, these symptoms only represent a handful of mental health descriptors – mental health symptoms following mild TBI may be more prevalent than represented by this study.
If there is one take-home message from your study, what would that be?
Symptoms of anxiety and mood disruption among collegiate athletes are common, even at baseline and prior to mild TBI. These results represent a call to action for academic institutions to improve screening and support of mental health in collegiate athletes, both pre and post-injury.