Some of the symptoms of stress and sleep deprivation include mood changes, low energy, poor concentration, headaches, digestive problems, low sex drive, high blood pressure and many more. One study has found that stress and lack of sleep may mimic concussion symptoms, which can make it challenging to get an accurate diagnosis.
About the Study
The study was published in the journal Sports Medicine earlier this year. Research was conducted by the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium, which is a researching body established by the U.S. Department of Defense and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
The purpose of the study is to inform clinicians they should consider both injuries and other factors when evaluating for a concussion.
Researchers collected data from approximately 18,000 NCAA student athletes and 12,000 military cadets. They utilized a diagnostic survey called the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool, third edition (SCAT3). This survey is a tool used by medical professionals to diagnose post-concussion syndrome (PCS) by evaluating memory, balance, recall and other factors. Pre-concussion medical histories were also taken into account.
Surveys revealed that 20% of female student athletes, 11.4% of male student athletes, 27.6% of female cadets and 17.8% of male cadets reported PCS-qualifying symptoms despite no recent concussion.
Across all groups, stress, sleep problems, migraines and pre-existing mental illnesses were strong predictors of PCS symptoms. Common predictors for NCAA athletes were ADHD and depression, while stress during year one of basic training and academic problems were common predictors for cadets.
Diagnosing Concussions Can Be Challenging
The reason it can be challenging to diagnose a concussion is because the symptoms tend to be non-specific, meaning they mimic symptoms of many other problems, including stress and sleep deprivation. Even so, symptom reporting remains the preferred method for identifying a concussion.
If you’ve experienced a crash at Larry King Law’s Langley Speedway or been tackled at Armstrong Stadium and are experiencing a headache, nausea, dizziness, double vision, light/noise sensitivity or confusion it’s important to be evaluated right away. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Hampton Roads ENT today.