Pediatric Concussion Research

Lurie Children's Institute for Sports Medicine is engaged in several research studies to further our understanding of concussions and the best approach to treatment. Review the studies below to learn more.

Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) Norms in Adolescents

The Balance Error Scoring System (BESS) is a validated tool for measuring postural stability, which has been noted to frequently be disrupted after a concussion. This objective, quick and inexpensive test is frequently used by physicians to evaluate and manage concussions, however, there is a lack of good data to provide normal reference values for the BESS test in children and adolescents. This study measured BESS scores for healthy children 10-17 years of age with no history of concussion.

Clinical Utility and Validity of Neurocognitive Assessment Tools in Concussed Grade School-aged Children

Principle Investigator: Brian Tho Hang, MD 

The objective of this study is to develop a feasible clinical assessment tool that can detect neurocognitive deficits after concussions in school-age children. Subjects are currently being enrolled from Lurie Children’s sports medicine and orthopaedic clinics and participating pediatricians’ offices. This will be accomplished via the completion of the following two objectives:

  1. To evaluate the psychometric properties of the PCSS using the existing database of concussed patients seen at the Institute for Sports Medicine at Lurie Children’s.
  2. To validate PCSS and SYSTEMS tools by collecting an additional 200 patients (100 without concussion and 100 with concussion) recruited from community-based clinics.

The Post-Concussion Symptom Scale: Utility of a 3-Factor Structure & Summation Score

The goals of this cross-sectional study are to examine the utility of a 19-item post-concussion symptom scale using retrospective chart review of a large sample of pediatric athletes with concussive injuries, and to identify associations between specific symptoms and gender, previous history of concussion, and length of time since injury.

Survey of Schools & Parents about Academic Accommodations Provided to Students with Concussions

This study aims to describe the spectrum of academic accommodations provided to students with concussions; identify factors that may influence whether a school has a formal protocol for returning students to the classroom after a concussion; and identify opportunities for connecting schools with necessary resources to develop effective protocols. Illinois school nurses and patients being treated for concussions at Lurie Children’s sports medicine clinics are currently being recruited for participation.​

Auditory processing in children recovering from a concussion: biological insights

The purpose of this study is to learn how the brain processes sounds while recovering from a concussion. The goal of this study is to collect sound processing (how the body hears and processes sounds) and brain functioning data from children and adolescents (8-17 years old) who have had a concussion. A sub-aim of this study is to investigate the effects of concussion on rhythmic skills in children. The study includes a battery of tests to assess auditory processing, cognitive abilities, vestibular disturbances, rhythm, and disruptions to visual tracking/processing. The battery is administered at multiple time points during a patient’s recovery to attempt to characterize auditory processing in a diverse group of children diagnosed with a concussion and to accurately map stepwise improvement in auditory processing skills as children recover from their concussions. This study can identify a new domain of concussion sequelae that merits clinical consideration.