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Testing for ADHD: Can concussions cause ADHD symptoms?

image The role of concussions in the world of ADHD is an interesting one; the answer to the question: Can concussions cause ADHD symptoms? then, is not necessarily a simple one.

Springboard Clinic recently had the chance to attend a talk called Mind Matters: From Concussion to Recovery, hosted by The University of Toronto’s faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education. While the talk was not specific to ADHD, it provided some great insight into our current understanding of the assessment and treatment of concussions.

For one, we know that some symptoms of some (but not all) concussions can mimic ADHD-like symptoms, such as difficulty concentrating, trouble with working memory, and mental “fog.” We also know that a small percentage of people who have a concussion will not fully recover, and so may have residual symptomatology that’s getting in their way.

The main learnings from this talk? There’s so much we still don’t know about concussions. For that reason, it would be nearly impossible at this point to gauge the potential impact of a head injury on symptoms of ADHD. So, if you’re concerned that a concussion may be playing a role in your current symptomatology, you need to seek out something like a CT scan. An ADHD assessment can help tease out how things were prior to the concussion – were there signs and symptoms of ADHD prior to getting injured – but it is not sufficient in truly assessing what’s going on now.

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