Concussion Tied to Increased Multiple Sclerosis Risk

HealthDay News — Concussion during adolescence increases the risk of subsequent multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis, according to a study published in the Annals of Neurology.

Scott Montgomery, PhD, from Örebro University in Sweden, and colleagues used data from the national Swedish Patient (hospital diagnoses) and Multiple Sclerosis registers to identify 7292 MS diagnoses through the year 2012 among people born since 1964. Controls (80,212) were matched by sex, year of birth, age/vital status at MS diagnosis, and region of residence.

The researchers found that concussion in adolescence was associated with an elevated risk of MS (adjusted odds ratio for one concussion, 1.22 [P =.008]; adjusted odds ratio for more than one concussion, 2.33 [P =.002]), compared with no concussions

There was no association seen between MS and concussion in childhood, or broken limb bones in childhood and adolescence.

“Head trauma in adolescence, particularly if repeated, is associated with a raised risk of future MS, possibly due to initiation of an autoimmune process in the central nervous system,” the authors write.

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Montgomery S, Hiyoshi A, Burkill S, Alfredsson L, Bahmanyar S, Olssen T. Concussion in adolescence and risk of multiple sclerosis [published online September 4, 2017]. Ann Neurol. doi:10.1002/ana.25036