Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health Pediatric Neurologist Studying Concussion Recovery in Children

Pediatric neurologist Felicia Gliksman, D.O., MPH, FAAN, director of the Pediatric and Adult Concussion Center at Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center, and vice chair of the Department of Neurology at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, is serving as principal  investigator and investigator for two studies related to recovery from brain injury. 

The first study is funded by a two-year, $180,000 grant from the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research.  In this study, titled, “Speech Indicators of Dysfunction and Recovery following Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,” Dr. Gliksman, who is an assistant professor of Pediatrics and Neurology at the School of Medicine,  and Sona Patel, PhD, who is an assistant professor of Neurology, are studying changes in brain function. It is hypothesized that changes in speech characteristics will correspond with changes in behavioral, cognitive, neurological, physical, psychological, and sleep-related symptoms, and that these symptoms will recover to baseline function with time. Age and the severity of injury will help to determine the pace of recovery. 

The second study is titled “Speech as an Indicator of Concussion Severity and Recovery in Pediatrics.” This study will use speech technology to determine whether changes in speech characteristics correspond with changes in behavioral, cognitive, neurological, physical, psychological and sleep-related concussion symptoms in children. The goal of the study is to understand how speech in children may be impacted after a concussion and develop ways to detect injury and monitor recovery.

This study, which started in April 2022, will also analyze speech and recovery patterns in older children compared to younger children, as well as children who sustained a severe injury compared to children who sustained a mild injury. 

“By helping us to better understand concussion and measure recovery, this study will move us closer to finding advanced treatment methods that optimize the recovery process and ensure the well-being of children after a concussion,” said Judy Aschner, M.D., physician-in-chief, Pediatrics, Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health and professor of Pediatrics at the School of Medicine. “We also hope this research will encourage increased concussion awareness among children, parents, coaches, teachers and the medical community.”

Concussions are more common in children than adults because their brains are not fully developed and are more susceptible to injury, particularly during play or sporting activity. This vulnerability also leads to longer recovery time for children who have sustained a concussion. According to the CDC,  5% to 10% of athletes will experience a concussion in any given sports season, and 1.6 to 3.8 million recreation and sports related concussions occur each year in the US, but a study published in the journal Pediatrics reported that childhood concussions are underreported. 

 

About Dr. Gliksman

Dr. Gliksman was recently recognized as a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology.  The AAN fellow designation recognizes special achievement in the neurosciences.  Applicants must be certified in neurology, or neurology with special qualification in Child Neurology, by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology or the American Osteopathic Board of Neurology and Psychiatry, or the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada.

About Hackensack Meridian Children’s HealthHackensack Meridian Children’s Health provides the most comprehensive and highest level of quality care to young patients in the state of New Jersey. The children’s network is comprised of two children’s hospitals – Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital at Hackensack University Medical Center in Hackensack and K. Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune – and a large network of pediatric subspecialists and pediatricians. Both hospitals ranked #1 in New Jersey in the U.S. News & World Report 2022-23 Best Children’s Hospital Report.  The combined nephrology care program at both hospitals ranked among the top 50 in the nation in the U.S. News & World Report. Visit www.hackensackmerdianhealth.org/kids for more information about Hackensack Meridian Children’s Health.