Exertion Testing in Children with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion

The decision regarding return to activity following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)/concussion is one of the most difficult and controversial areas in concussion management for adults and even more complicated for children and youth. Post Concussion Symptoms are often exacerbated by exertion. Determining an individual child's response to exertion may be an important component of safe return to activity decisions. The study objectives are:

  1. To determine if standardized exertion testing could help contribute to decision making for safe return to sport and activity and
  2. To examine how children and youth with MTBI are affected by exertion. Specifically investigating how exertion testing is related to the onset of concussion symptoms.

Preliminary results demonstrated that exertion testing contributes to more objective and evidenced-based decision making for families and clinicians. Furthermore, exertion overall seemed to lesson symptoms for most youth; what is still unknown is if this effect is physiological or psychological, or both.

Research Team:

Project Update

DeMatteo, C. & Timmons, B. (2014) Exertion Testing in Youth with Mild Traumatic Brain Injury/Concussion: does it contribute to return to activity decisions? Brain Injury April 2014.


Pollock Foundation