Genetics affect concussion recovery
Research conducted by Peter Arnett, Professor of Psychology and Director of Clinical Training, was recently featured in Penn State Today.
New Penn State research suggests genetics plays a major role in determining how quickly a concussed athlete recovers. Peter Arnett, professor of psychology and director of clinical training at Penn State, has observed hundreds of concussed athletes in his lab over the last ten years and often wondered why some athletes would recover more rapidly than others. He led a team of researchers to find out, and their work was recently published in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.
According to Arnett, while the relationship between genetic factors and outcomes after brain injury is beginning to receive more attention recently, little study has been devoted to specific genes and their effects on concussion recovery. “We wanted to determine how the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene influences symptoms following a sports-relation concussion.”
Arnett and his research team studied 42 collegiate athletes who completed concussion testing within three months of their injury. All the participants in the study sustained a mild concussion, as determined by their team physicians, and underwent testing as soon as possible following the injury.