Chevy Joining the Concussion Fight

Although we all should know that helmets DO NOT prevent concussions, they are vital part of collision sports, especially football, hockey and lacrosse.  Knowing this, having the newest helmet possible is the best for any athlete and a high priority for the younger athletes.  On Tuesday Chevrolet announced it is joining with Hockey Canada to provide a huge donation;

The auto maker announced Tuesday it will partner with Bauer and Hockey Canada to provide more than 20,000 helmets for children born in 2006, who are registered for the 2011-12 season.

GM Canada spokesman Jason Easton said the company wanted to expand its Safe and Fun Hockey program and felt protecting the heads of new players was a good way to start.

EVERY SINGLE 5-year-old in Canada will be given a helmet. Continue reading

SCORE by UM NeuroSport

A program run by the University of Michigan, Sports Concussion Online Resources & Education (SCORE), has developed another educational video for coaches about concussions.  It is specifically run by Michigan NeuroSport;

Michigan NeuroSport is a team of physicians, researchers and medical personnel which provides comprehensive and advanced treatment of neurologic disease. We specialize in the treatment and prevention of neurological sports injuries, as well as the management of primary neurological diseases in the athlete.

This online course emphasizes that it takes a team to recognize the symptoms of a concussion, therefore everyone should know what they should be looking for in the instances of injury.  It takes quick registration to complete the tutorial and for those in Michigan this is a must to be up to date on the most recent information.

Thanks to Brad Shannon for the heads up…

#tweetup Anyone?

I have my itinerary confirmed, heading to the 2nd Annual Concussion Summit in New Jersey.  The event is in Plainsboro, NJ put on by the ATSNJ, and provides some very “big names” in the area of concussions.  However, even if you cannot make the summit on the 17th there is a chance to meet up and talk about concussions or whatever is on your mind.

#tweetup: A gathering of users brought together via Twitter. For example, at conferences, Twitter is used by attendees to arrange to meet after the show for discussion, cocktails and parties.

It would be great to meet up with anyone reading this, either Twitter types, or any person that has questions about concussions that you feel that I can answer.  I hope to be able to announce more confirmations of those planning on attending in the near future.

Here are the deets: Continue reading

Former CFL Star Shares Dark Memories

The memories of Matt Dunigan are both good and bad from his years in the Canadian Football League.  Unfortunately, the recent thoughts to his past have made a profound statement about concussions in sports, in particular football;

How far has post-concussion syndrome penetrated the culture of sport? Witness the tear-streaked face of former CFL star Matt Dunigan in his interview with Brian Williams last Friday on TSN. In a shockingly personal segment, Williams led Dunigan though the hell brought on by at least twelve diagnosed concussions in his playing career. The troubled private life of a very public athlete (Dunigan won two Grey Cups) was put in a new perspective as he wept beside his wife.

His wife went on to tell the audience the Dunigan forgot how to laugh and lost his sense of humor, basically becoming a Continue reading

US H.R. 469

We have logged 21 different states putting forth legislation for head injuries in sports.  The first one was in Washington with the passage of the Zachary Leystedt Law in 2009.  Now the United States House of Representatives has put forth an effort to create a “minimum” standard for each state to follow.  H.R. 469 was introduced in January of this year and has not garnered a lot of press, here are the highlights;

  • School Sponsored Athletic Activity (all schools)
  • Healthcare Professional includes athletic trainers
  • A very well constructed definition of concussion
  • Informed consent to parents, athletes, coaches, etc.
  • Required assistance for students to return to academics
  • Required posting of information regarding concussions in the schools
  • Out a minimum of 24 hours and cannot RTP without written clearance from healthcare provider
  • A report out to the Secretary of Education at end of year

We have reached out for comment from various sources and here is what some have to say. Continue reading

Tour de France: 7 Stage Update

I know I have not been on top of the Tour, but honestly as a sports fan I usually try to find time to watch some of each stage (I guess with a third child something has to go, ha).  However, last night I was bombarded by concussion news from the Tour de France from around the world, via email and tweets.  I would like to say thanks to everyone that passed along the information, a special thank you to Bill from Australia.  There has been two high-profile head injuries resulting in very intriguing coverage from international press.  Let me add to this, that the CDC (the statistic gatherer in America), has cycling as the NUMBER ONE activity that causes brain injury for all AGES.

Here is what has happened for those of you that do not follow cycling, it started in Stage 5 when Tom Boonen from Belgium crashed and continued in the stage and race the next day.  However after starting Stage 7 he abandoned the race due to his headache;

Boonen sat down to talk with the press but this clearly wasn’t his usual self. He was pale and talked quietly. Almost at the same moment, Cavendish crossed the line after winning the stage’s final bunch sprint. It didn’t matter much to Boonen.

“I’ve got a huge headache,” said Boonen. “Every kilometre was one too many. I was wondering, ‘who am I pleasing by continuing?’ Not myself, that’s for sure.

“I was a danger for the other riders, too. I think I suffered a concussion. Noise, colours… I couldn’t stand them. A honking car that passed was echoing a thousand times in my head. Yesterday was a dark day – due to the rain – and maybe that’s why it went better.” Continue reading

Free Concussion Symposium UPDATE

Northwestern University is hosting a FREE concussion symposium to bring anyone that chooses to attend up to speed on concussion issues, particularly in the state of Illinois.  This even is co-sponsored by the Illinois High School Association.  Registration is necessary for this event.  I received an email from Megan McCann;

I wanted to give you the heads up about an upcoming symposium at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago which will aim to educate coaches, trainers, athletic directors and youth sports volunteers on the importance of concussion awareness. The free event will be held on Wednesday, July 27, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Hunt Batjer, MD, chair of neurological surgery at Northwestern, is also the chair of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee. He will be among the panelists speaking on the topic of concussions.

You can get further information by CLICKING HERE.  The event culminates with a keynote luncheon (Mike Ditka is original headliner), as stated above registration is needed to attend, but it is free.  Go to the link above to get all set up.  Even though this is in my “backyard” unfortunately work conflicts will not allow me to attend, I would appreciate anyone that goes to send us the Cliff’s Notes version.

UPDATE 7/15/11 9:52am: Mike Ditka will be unavailable for the event, they are currently looking for a replacement and will announce ASAP.

Footy Concussion Report Round 16

The Concussion Blog is now tracking the concussions of another collision sport, one with very good media coverage, albeit not in North America.  Aussie Rules Football and its professional league AFL have had an issue with concussion in the past and as we have seen on videos here, they can be scary.  With the help of Sportal we will be compiling the concussions on a weekly basis.

We have not forgotten about Aussie Rules Football, merely watching and compiling from afar.  There have been some very good contests the past 4 weeks, since our last update, but with that has come a slight increase in concussions.  If you have been following the updates for the Footy Concussions you will know that I have tried to reach out to; The AFL, some of the teams, various media in Australia and even the medical community of Australia.  All of those requests have gone unresponded to giving me pause about what actually the culture is like regarding concussions Down Under.

Currently we have found 30 concussions listed for Australia’s most popular sport, and that makes the rate of concussions 2 per round.  Below is the actual compiled list; Continue reading

New Jersey Concussion Summit

The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey is hosting its second annual Concussion Summit on July 17th.  It is after the “early registration” however the line-up is certainly worth a look.  This is the same organization that produced the very well put together tutorials on concussions, SEE HERE.

  • Steve Broglio, PhD, ATC – Assessing Balance in Concussion
  • Robert Cantu, MD – Long-term Effects of Concussions
  • Annegret Detwiler-Danspeckgruber, EdD – Imaging Concussions: DTI and fMRI
  • Ruben Echemendina, PhD, PSY – The Role of Neurocognitive Testing
  • Jason Mihalik, PhD, CAT(C), ATC – Biomechanics of Concussions Continue reading

More Research For Multi-Faceted Approach

Jacob Resch an assistant professor at the University of Texas – Arlington just presented his findings about ImPACT testing and its reliability.  I was privy to a media release of the information, here it is in full (bold is my emphasis);

Media contact: Traci Peterson, (817) 272-9208,

ARLINGTON – A computerized testing system commonly used to evaluate sports-related concussions misclassified up to 29 percent of healthy participants in a recent test by a University of Texas at Arlington kinesiology researcher.

The results from the study of the ImPACT computerized neuropsychological testing system emphasize the need for multiple types of assessments, said Jacob Resch, an assistant professor of kinesiology and director of the University’s Brain Injury Laboratory. During the study, the system had “only poor to good reliability” in 45 healthy participants, he said.

Resch’s findings were presented this week at the National Athletic Trainers’ Association annual meeting and clinical symposia in New Orleans.

Concussion assessment and management has become a national concern in recent years as former National Football League players and their families have come forward with personal tales of the lasting impact of hard hits. Legislators, Continue reading

MLB Concussion Update #3

It has been about three weeks since a MLB player has been placed on the 7-day DL.  Ronny Cedeno has been designated by the Pittsburgh Pirates as having a concussion;

Cedeno was hit on the back of his head while attempting to break up a double play in the fourth inning of Friday’s loss to Washington. “He had limited symptoms initially, but got worse as the night progressed – even after leaving the ballpark,’’ Pirates general manager Neal Huntington said.


This brings the total MLB players to be placed on the 7-day DL to five;

  1. Erick Almonte
  2. Chris Dickerson
  3. Brian Roberts
  4. Denard Span
  5. Ronny Cedeno

This does not include Marlon Byrd, who sustained facial fractures after getting hit in his face while batting.  Using “Fink’s Rule” the unofficial number is now six.

Return-to-Play Test?

Perhaps.  University of Buffalo doctors and researchers believe that they may have a tool that can provide definitive answers and take the “chance” out of the impending second injury.  John J. Leddy, MD, Karl Kozlowski, PhD and Barry Willer, PhD are authors of a study aimed at just doing that;

University at Buffalo researchers have developed a test to determine when it’s safe for athletes to return to play after a concussion.

Currently no standardized method exists to assess when the time is right. It is usually a judgment call made by team physicians.

“We believe this new approach could change the way professional and amateur sports team physicians make decisions about concussion recovery.”
Barry Willer, PhD
professor of psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine and senior author on the paper

The treadmill test devised by UB concussion specialists in the Department of Orthopedics could change that by providing a systematic approach to evaluate readiness.

“In the past, how a team physician and trainer made this decision was left to chance,” says Barry Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry and rehabilitation medicine.

Willer is senior author of a paper titled Reliability of a Graded Exercise Test for Assessing Recovery from Concussion, published in the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine.

Using the Balke standardized treadmill test the subjects were taken to either symptom exacerbation or perceived exhaustion.  Starting Continue reading

TSN Sportscentre Series on Concussions

Those north of the border in Canada, or with satellite access to TSN will have the opportunity to see a five-part series on head injuries in sports.  The series will be hosted by Dave Naylor with accompanying articles along the way;

Drawing the Line features a range of opinions on the role of violence in professional sports, with comments from former NHL player Keith Primeau, former CFL player, Jason Tucker, Commissioner of the CFL Mark Cohon, Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, MMA fighter Sean Pierson, as well as other prominent athletes and sports experts.

The series titled “Drawing the Line” will feature these topics in the five installments; Continue reading

INDYCAR Followup

After the stories about Simona de Silvestro and Will Power, I was inundated with email regarding the actual protocol for the racing series and concussions.  I was able to reach out to get some answers from a source within INDYCAR that wishes not to be identified as they are not part of the medial “team”,

“All drivers take the ImPACT at the start of the season to establish baseline.  It is required the ImPACT as well as evaluation by our medical director for clearance to drive after a driver has been diagnosed with a concussion.”

However there is NO mention of mandatory rest, just eluding to passing a NP test, that we have documented as having reliability issues.  There is not even mention of symptoms, rather a medical evaluation and TAKING the test (I would be dumbfounded if they didn’t have to “pass” the test).  I am not a professional driver but I would be very weary of other drivers that may in fact be having concussion symptoms hurling down the track at 200MPH.

I would suggest that the series take a much more proactive stance with this injury, not only for the safety of the injured driver but the others on the track.

This comment was so good that I thought I would re-post it here… Continue reading

Alabama Has Legislation

A piece of legislation that slipped past us was signed in Alabama earlier in June.  As reported (video included) by CBS42 in Alabama;

A new state law signed by Alabama Governor Robert Bentley earlier this month could prevent young athletes from returning to practices or games if they could potentially have a concussion.  The athletes will not be eligible to return to their activities until a doctor has ruled that they are fit to play.  The law is intended for high school athletes all the way down to pee wee sports, although many college sports already follow the same guidelines.

This brings our total to 21 states with legislation.