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Sports-Related Concussions & Subconcussive Injuries

Creating A Culture Of Concussion Safety Requires Teamwork All Season Long, Not Just One Day

 

If your child plays a contact or collision sport, whether at the youth, middle school or high school level, chances are they will suffer a concussion at some point in their athletic career. How quickly they recover may depend on how soon after injury - if at all - their concussion is identified so they can be removed from practice or game action. The problem is that concussion signs - still the best way to identify a concussion - are difficult to spot, and athletes often hide their symptoms.

One way to improve the chances that an athlete's brain injury is identified is for teams to employ a "buddy" system in which team members are assigned to watch for signs of concussion in designated teammates and, if they spot signs, or if their teammates tell them they are experiencing symptoms, are encouraged or required to immediately report the possible injury to the athletic trainer or the coach.

No Increased Risk Of Dementia, Parkinson's or ALS For Those Who Played H.S. Football Between 1946 and 1970, Studies Find

Are men who played high school football in Minnesota in the twenty-five years after World War II at increased risk of later developing dementia, Parkinson's or ALS compared with non-football playing high school males? Not according to two studies by researchers at the Mayo Clinic.

Study Linking Tackle Football Before Age 12 With Greater Risk Of Later Health Problems: Does It Hold Up Under Scrutiny?

A study by researchers at Boston University finding that athletes who were less than 12 years old at the time of their first exposure to tackle football had more behavioral and cognitive problems later in life than those whose age of first exposure to the sport was later has, predictably, garnered a great deal of attention from the mainstream media. In the interest of balanced and objective reporting, we asked a number of researchers and clinicians to review and comment on the study. Here's what they told us.

CTE: Media Continues To Be Ahead Of Science

Despite widespread media coverage and speculation regarding the late-life or post-retirement risks of cognitive impairment in athletes who engaged in sports involving repetitive blows to the head and high concussion risk, and assertions that CTE causes them to be at high risk of suicide, there have been virtually no peer-reviewed, well-designed scientific studies that establish, much less quantify, such risks.

Letting Kids Play Football is Not Child Abuse


The last three weeks have witnessed an all-out assault on the game of football, not coincidentally timed with the beginning of NFL training camps. First came a study reporting CTE in 110 of 111 brains of former NFL players. Following closely on the heels of that media circus was the publication last week of a new book by Dr. Bennet Omalu, Truth Doesn't Have a Side, and interviews in which Dr. Omalu, as he has for several years, argues that letting kids play football is the "definition" of child abuse. The not-so-surprising result has been a tsunami of emails in my Inbox asking for my views on the subject.

Are parents committing child abuse simply by allowing their kids to play a collision sport like football before middle school? Not unless it rises to the level of a callous and wanton disregard for a child's safety (e.g. reckless endangerment).

CTE: Is The Media Scaring Young Athletes To Death?

As someone who has been educating sports parents about head trauma in sports for the past seventeen years, and about the very real risk posed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the last decade, it is not surprising that I receive emails from parents all the time expressing deep concern about stories in the media that have led them - wrongly - to fear that playing contact or collision sports, or suffering a sports-related concussion, especially one slow to heal, makes it inevitable that their child will develop CTE and is at greatly increased risk of committing suicide.

As someone who has been educating sports parents about head trauma in sports for the past seventeen years, and about the very real risk posed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the last decade, it is not surprising that I receive emails from parents all the time expressing deep concern about stories in the media that have led them - wrongly - to fear that playing contact or collision sports, or suffering a sports-related concussion, especially one slow to heal, makes it inevitable that their child will develop CTE and is at greatly increased risk of committing suicide.

SmartTeams' de Lench and MacDonald Present Six Pillars Concussion Program at IOC World Conference

Brooke de Lench, Executive Director of MomsTeam Institute, Inc., and Jim MacDonald, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the MomsTeam Board of Directors, and a sports medicine physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital presented MomsTeam's Smart Teams Play Safe concussion risk reduction program at the International Olympic Committee's World Conference On Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco.

Vision Assessment Should Be Part Of Return-To-Learn Protocol, UAB Researchers Say

A comprehensive vision assessment should be part of return-to-learn protocols to help determine when children are ready to return to the classroom following concussions - particularly in children reporting academic difficulty, says a new study.

Inadequate Helmet Fit Increases Concussion Severity In High School Football Players

High school football players who sustain concussions while wearing improperly fitted helmets are at higher risk of experiencing more symptoms and taking longer to recover, with concussions of longer duration also more common in players with an air-bladder helmet. High schools should ensure proper adult oversight of football helmet fit throughout the season, says the study.

Sports Concussion Research, CTE, and the Media: Can The Disconnect Ever Be Repaired?

The public's perception that a direct causal link exists between repetitive head contact and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is largely the result of one-sided, sensationalized, and biased reporting, argue four head injury researchers in a provocative editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
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