People who experience a mild traumatic brain injury are more likely to have lasting deficits that affect the performance of daily activities, a new study finds. Investigators found that 53% of people with a mTBI experienced functional impairment, compared to 38% in a control group.

Researchers looked at more than 1,000 patients who had presented with mTBI in United States level I trauma centers. Using a standardized scale that evaluates functional outcomes at varying intervals throughout a year’s time, they found that patients both with and without intracranial abnormalities continued to report problems with daily function at 12 months, said lead author Lindsay Nelson, Ph.D., of the Medical College of Wisconsin.

“Most patients with mTBI presenting to US level I trauma centers report persistent, injury-related life difficulties at 1 year post injury, suggesting the need for more systematic follow-up of patients with mTBI to provide treatments and reduce the risk of chronic problems after mTBI,” the study concluded.

Full findings appear in JAMA Neurology .