The following article is part of conference coverage from the 2022 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting. Neurology Advisor’s staff will be reporting breaking news associated with research conducted by leading experts in neurology. Check back for the latest news from the 2022 AAN Annual Meeting.

 

Following a concussion, adolescent patients were found to experience changes in their menstrual cycle. Menses phase at time of injury was also associated with postconcussion symptom severity. These are the study findings presented at the 2022 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting, held from April 2 to April 7 in Seattle, Washington, and virtually from April 24-26, 2022.


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Previous research on menstrual cycle disruption due to mild traumatic brain injury like concussion has been limited and has yielded mixed results. Studies have also mainly included adults.

For the current study, researchers sought to analyze the effects of concussion on menstrual cycle patterns in an adolescent population. Researchers also examined whether menses phase at time of injury would affect an adolescent patient’s menstrual cycle postconcussion or have an effect on postconcussion symptom severity.

For the analysis, researchers prospectively collected data from adolescent patients at a specialty care concussion clinic. Patients reported whether they experienced a change in their menstrual cycle or postconcussion symptom severity within 28 days following concussion and at a follow-up visit 3 to 4 months postconcussion. Study participants also reported menses phase at time of injury. The Post-Concussion Symptom Inventory was used to measure symptom severity and multiple linear regression to identify the potential association between menstrual cycle phase and symptom severity.

A total of 598 adolescent patients were enrolled in the study, and 136 returned for the follow-up visit at 3 to 4 months. Study participants had a mean age of 15.4±1.4 years. Primary outcomes were changes in menstrual cycle postinjury, menses phase at time of concussion, and symptom severity.

At the initial visit, 4% of adolescent patients reported changes in their menstrual cycle; 12.5% reported changes at the 3- to 4-month follow-up visit. Researchers determined that, by 3 to 4 months’ follow-up, menses phase at time of concussion was associated with postconcussion symptom severity (P =.03), but not changes in an adolescent patient’s menstrual cycle (P =.18). Study participants who experienced a concussion during the early luteal phase of their menstrual cycle had the highest symptom severity at 3 to 4 months’ follow-up.

“Leveraging the largest study sample of postconcussion menstrual patterns to date, this study represents important foundational data regarding potential hormonal effects of concussion in [adolescent patients],” the researchers concluded.

Reference

Roby P, Grimberg A, Master C, Arbogast K. Menstrual cycle functioning following concussion in adolescent patients. Presented at: the 2022 AAN Annual Meeting; April 2-7, 2022; Seattle, Washington; April 24-26, 2022; Virtual Meeting. Abstract P10.006.