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U of O leads a team of Ontarian researchers in ground-breaking research

University of Ottawa professor of medicine Shawn Marshall along with the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation (ONF) recently released a set of guidelines that aim to help alleviate symptoms of concussions.

Typically, the majority of concussion symptoms subside after three weeks. The ONF’s guidelines are novel in the field of post-concussion research and will provide suggested methods of treatment if symptoms last more than that time.

Marshall, the lead author on the project, said it’s important to be aware that, in some cases, post-concussion symptoms will persist for months, but there are ways to treat them.

“Our research is focused for those people who don’t get better,” he said. “Most people are advised to rest until the symptoms have resolved themselves, which usually occurs. However, for a number of people you will have symptoms that will endure. This includes headaches, balance, vision problems, complaints about problems of focus, concentration, and memory, and they even will notice problems with sleep and irritability.”

Marshall said the guidelines would provide physicians with direction on how to better manage patients if symptoms persist.

“If you are not better within two or three weeks, you can imagine how that would affect your semester,” he said. “This gives some guidelines to physicians on how they might approach that, such as contacting the school about what may help the affected student, and explain how the symptoms may progress.”

The ONF guidelines include advisements on new medications that are effective in reducing symptoms and things to do and others to avoid, among other recommendations..