Thursday November 14, 2019

Even Minor Head Injuries may Lead to Olfactory and Anxiety Problems

A lot of people suffer a mild concussion at some point in their life, so realising they have trouble smelling

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Anxiety, Head, Injuries
The study, published in the journal Brain Injury, found that even minor accidents like falling off a bike with a helmet on, taking a tumble on the ski slopes, slipping on ice and hitting one's head can provoke the same kind of problems as in major head injuries. Pixabay

While it is already known that people who suffer a major concussion can lose their sense of smell temporarily, researchers have found that even minor head injuries may lead to olfactory and anxiety problems.

The study, published in the journal Brain Injury, found that even minor accidents like falling off a bike with a helmet on, taking a tumble on the ski slopes, slipping on ice and hitting one’s head can provoke the same kind of problems as in major head injuries.

“A lot of people suffer a mild concussion at some point in their life, so realising they have trouble smelling is the first step to telling their doctor about it,” said study lead author Fanny Lecuyer Giguere from the University of Montreal in Canada.

“It’s important that patients report any loss of smell, because it’s not something their general practitioners normally ask about,” she said.

Anxiety, Head, Injuries
While it is already known that people who suffer a major concussion can lose their sense of smell temporarily, researchers have found that even minor head injuries may lead to olfactory and anxiety problems. Pixabay

For the study, the researchers compared 20 hospital patients who had mild concussions with 22 who had broken limbs but had no concussion.

Within 24 hours of their accident, just over half of those with mild concussions had a reduced sense of smell versus five per cent of the patients with broken bones.

A year later, although their sense of smell was back to normal, the first group of patients had significantly more anxiety than the control group.

To test their capacity to identify smells, the researchers visited hospital patients in the alpine ski resort of Visp, Switzerland between December 2016 and February 2017. They were asked to identify synthetic odour of roses, garlic, cloves and more. A year later, the patients were sent a follow-up questionnaire.

Also Read- Sharenting Puts Child’s Online Privacy and Safety at Risk

By comparing the two groups of patients’ results on the day following their injury and 12 months later, the researchers were able to determine that most who had lost their sense of smell gained it back within six months of their accident.

What did not significantly diminish, however, were their symptoms of anxiety. About 65 per cent of the concussed patients reported such symptoms, researchers said. (IANS)

Next Story

Anxiety Among Teenagers Leads To Harmful Drinking

Generalized anxiety disorder among teenagers can lead to harmful drinking

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anxiety
Anxiety among teenagers is associated with harmful drinking. Pixabay

Researchers at the University of Bristol have found evidence of an association between generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 and harmful drinking three years later.

The study, published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence strengthens the evidence for a relationship between anxiety and later alcohol use as the researchers accounted for other factors such as adolescent smoking and cannabis use, and parental anxiety and alcohol use.

“Helping adolescents to develop positive strategies for coping with anxiety, instead of drinking alcohol, may reduce the risk of future harmful drinking. However, we cannot determine if the relationship is causal, because we used an observational study design,” said Maddy Dyer.

Using questionnaire and clinical interview data from more than 2,000 participants, researchers found generalised anxiety disorder at age 18 was linked to frequent drinking, frequent bingeing, hazardous drinking, and harmful drinking at age 18.

Generalised anxiety disorder continued to be associated with harmful drinking at age 21.

Drinking to cope was also strongly associated with more harmful drinking, but it did not appear to influence associations between anxiety and alcohol use.

Harmful drinking was measured using a special test developed by the World Health Association.

Anxiety disorder
Adolescents with anxiety drink at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not. Pixabay

On average, adolescents with anxiety drank at more harmful levels regardless of whether they tended to drink alcohol for coping reasons or not.

“Our own research has shown that links between mental health problems, such as anxiety disorders, and alcohol are common and complex,” said Mark Leyshon, Senior Policy and Research Manager at Alcohol Change UK.

For example, anxiety can be both a result of stopping drinking and a risk factor in beginning to drink too much, as this new study suggests.

Also Read- Study Says, Multitasking can take Teenagers to both Positive and Negative Approach

“We need more research to help us better understand the connections between alcohol and mental health, as well as high-quality, accessible, integrated support for substance misuse and mental health issues,” Leyshon added. (IANS)