Changing the Culture: Will Carroll – Special Contributor

I am honored and privileged to post an article from Will Carroll regarding concussions.  I thank Will very much for his time and contribution!

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Changing The Culture

Will Carroll for The Concussion Blog

It’s a quiet, warm Saturday morning in July. Coming up to the Colts Complex on the west side of Indianapolis, it’s normal to see players walking in. It’s not normal for them to be nine years old.

USA Football is rolling out what amounts to a pilot program they are calling the “Protection Tour.” It’s a multi-part seminar for kids, coaches and parents that focus on the concussion issue. Sponsored in part by the NFL, it’s easy to see why they chose this program. USA Football isn’t the typical governing body. They don’t have any form of control over the largest programs, the NFL and NCAA. They don’t even hold any sway over scholastic programs. They’re more a lobbying organization, taking hold of “should bes” like coaching standards and player safety.

The Protection Tour is made of up of three “stations”. In the first and perhaps most important, coaches and players are shown tackling drills that emphasize old fashioned concepts like shoulder contact, athletic position, and wrapping up. These kinds of hits won’t make SportsCenter, but they are safer for everyone. There’s an emphasis Continue reading

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Bombshell Found in Sports Illustrated Vault

Thanks to @ConcernedMom9 I was sent an article from Sports Illustrated written by Michael Farber.  Before I tell you the year and provide the link I want so share some quotes from it;

“People are missing the boat on brain injuries,” says Dr. James P. Kelly, director of the brain-injury program at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and an assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Medical School. “It isn’t just cataclysmic injury or death from brain injuries that should concern people. The core of the person can change from repeated blows to the head.

“I get furious every time I watch a game and hear the announcers say, ‘Wow, he really got his bell rung on that play.’ It’s almost like, ‘Yuk, yuk, yuk,’ as if they’re joking. Concussions are no joke.”

That sounds very similar to what we are discussing now in 2012.

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•Of the 1.5 million high school football players in the U.S., 250,000 suffer a concussion in any given season, according to a survey conducted for The American Journal of Public Health.

•A player who has already suffered a concussion is four times more likely to get one than a player who has been concussion-free. Quarterbacks, running backs, receivers and defensive backs are most vulnerable, […] that special teams players were at the highest risk per minute spent on the field.

•Concussions are underreported at all levels of football. This is partly because of the subtlety of a mild concussion (unless a player is as woozy as a wino, the injury might go undetected by a busy trainer or coach) but primarily because players have bought into football’s rub-dirt-on-it ethos. “If we get knocked in the head, it’s embarrassing to come to the sideline and say, ‘Hey, my head’s feeling funny,’ ” says San Francisco 49er quarterback Steve Young, who has suffered at least a half dozen concussions. “So I’m sure we’re denying it.”

•Football’s guidelines for players returning after concussions are sometimes more lenient than boxing’s. The New Jersey Boxing Commission requires a fighter who is knocked out to wait 60 days and submit to an electroencephalogram (EEG) before being allowed back into the ring.

•According to Ken Kutner, a New Jersey neuropsychologist, postconcussion syndrome is far more widespread than the NFL or even those suffering from the syndrome would lead us to believe. […] Kutner says that the players fear that admitting to postconcussion syndrome might cost them a job after retirement from football.

Hmmm, we all thought this was information new to us – new being 2008.

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That, however, doesn’t console Lawrence and Irene Guitterez of Monte Vista, Colo. “He just thought it was something trivial,” Irene says of her son, Adrian, who was a running back on the Monte Vista High team three years ago. “He had a headache and was sore, but it seemed like cold symptoms. He wasn’t one to complain. He wouldn’t say anything to anybody. He wanted to play in the Alamosa game.”

He did play. At halftime Guitterez, who had suffered a concussion in a game two weeks before and had not yet shaken the symptoms, begged teammates not to tell the coaches how woozy he felt. When he was tackled early in the third quarter, he got up disoriented and then collapsed. Five days later he died.

Years later another Colorado high school football player, Jake Snakenberg, would unfortunately repeat history; leading to the concussion legislation passed in that state.

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Do you have a guess on the year… Continue reading

Head Game Movie Providing Head Scratching Already: UPDATE

UPDATE BELOW

Irv Muchnick has been using his investigative nature to find out about the new movie “Head Games” based on the Chris Nowinski book and history.  Although the use of alternate media is a wonderful thing and that this movie will at least bring more people to the discussion there are some peculiar things about at least the production and the producers that make one wonder.

Muchnick, who has turned over a new leaf and started to lean away from the ‘nuclear option’ of banning the sport of football period to a more incremental – albeit very conservative incremental (however he does deserve credit for adjusting his train of thought) – approach to limiting tackle football for youth.  However the bulldog that he is, Muchnick has uncovered some interesting tidbits on the new movie, currently he is in Part 5;

The principal funder of the new documentary film Head Games is Steve Devick, a billionaire music and technology entrepreneur, who co-invented and is marketing a sports sideline concussion tool called the King-Devick Test.

On the virtual eve of the first preview screening of the movie in Chicago – originally billed as a “red carpet premiere,” now called a “private sneak peek” – Continue reading

Parent Urges School Board to Take a Look

In Maryland, Montgomery County to be specific, the school board is taking – at the minimum – a look at what they can possibly do to help with the safety of the kids they are in charge of.  Lisa Gartner of The Examiner wrote a brief column on it;

Montgomery County school officials are weighing efforts to screen high school athletes for concussions and similar head injuries linked to Alzheimer’s-like disease and suicide.

Superintendent Joshua Starr said Tuesday that his staff is drafting a memo on concussions, while school board member Patricia O’Neill asked for a report on the cost and implementation of baseline screening, which would allow doctors to compare athletes’ brain activity before and after injuries.

“I know our budget doesn’t have an inch to spare,” O’Neill said, “but our students’ health obviously has to be paramount.”

As the board mentioned there is not much money there, so why are they entertaining the thought of using baseline tests?  It is just a tool that is often highly criticized for its results.  I feel that if baselines are needed then deals should be made with local doctors that use the tool and are trained to use the tool.  By deals I mean the baselines be given away or at a significantly high discount, then the doctors are in control.  Perhaps if the schools have outsourced athletic trainers the place of employment of the AT’s can defer or absorb the cost.

The point is that a Walt Whitman HS parent by the name of Continue reading

Concussion Article Links – MUST READ

Since the tragic and untimely death of Junior Seau the concussion issue has begun to fester like a three-day old pimple on a 13 year-old’s greasy face.  It is ready to pop and keeping up with all of the pertinent articles and “specials” has been very trying.  In this post I will attempt to link up and highlight as many as I can (surely I will miss many, however Concerned Mom in the comment section will have more).

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Lets begin with ESPN and the Outside the Lines week-long look at concussions.  I have found this to be must see, my DVR is a testament to this; using previous stories and bringing in commentators on the subject have provided information and even fireworks.  Yesterday Merril Hoge and Matt Chaney did just that – provide information and create fireworks.  You can find the podcast here (panelists begin about 7:30 mark).

Hoge drew my ire earlier this week with his admonishing of Kurt Warner’s statement of being a father, however yesterday he did have a very valid point about the management of concussions.  I have said is ad nausea here: the elephant in the room is the management of concussions, however Hoge sounded a bit “underconcerned” about the actual injury.  Which is where Chaney had very valid points about the exposure of concussions to the youth.  They are both right in my estimation; the management is the larger issue but we are seeing too many too young people being effected by concussions.  There needs to be work in both areas and remember this is not just a football issue.

We have the duty to protect our kids and if that means flag football for 5-13 year-olds then I am cool with that.  If we find after making such a drastic change that has not been enough then we can take it further if needed.  I feel that a change like this will allow a few things: 1) more time to let the brain develop and thus allowing research to catch up to what we know.  2) employ more medical providers in a position to find, assess and manage concussions (see athletic trainers). And 3) begin a culture shift about the seriousness of concussions, after all this is a brain injury.

As Chaney later told me; Continue reading

Concussion Information from UB

Dr. John J. Ledy performed a webinar for the Brain Injury Association of New York State.  It is a very interesting topic; how to utilize controlled exercise in concussion recovery.  This video was published on YouTube by BIANYS, it is over an hour in length but like most stuff I put on here it is worth the listen.

Again this falls under the mantra “none of us is as smart as all of us.”

Innovative Concussion Care Concept

It seems that I often am applauding the efforts north of the border in Canada, it really seems that they have put a concerted COMBINED effort to seek out and implement innovative ideas.  I don’t think it says much about the United States other than we are all trying to do our best in our own little areas.  There is little consortium or conglomeration of effort, rather “‘A’ has found this”, “‘B’ has discovered this”, “‘C’ is saying this”, etc, etc, etc…

It may be the same up north but with the population centers mainly in fewer areas in Canada it seems that the Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Vancouver areas seem to all be on the same page.  This could also be because of the overall influence of the Brain Injury Association of Canada and its influence on such things.

This idea is not from the BIAC, but it has some solid foundations none the less, including our partner in concussion awareness stopconcussions.com with Kerry Goulet and Keith Priemeau at the lead.  They have created a vision and group of like-minded individuals to create what they are calling Sports Concussion Care Clinic.  Here it is in a press-release; Continue reading

Chaney Somewhat Prophetic re:McMahon Post

Matt Chaney, who has been critical of the establishment on various subjects including concussions highlights what Jim McMahon and his group of NFL’ers have been saying in preparations for the law suits aimed at the league.  The following excerpt from a Chaney post on his blog appeared in June of 2011, prior to all the suits (bold my emphasis);

Doctors and medical researchers have long agreed boxing can cause brain damage in athletes and lead to personality disorders and outbursts, through repetitive impacts both concussive and sub-concussive.

A 1973 study on postmortem evidence of 15 ex-pro boxers who suffered “punch-drunk syndrome” documented their “violent behavior and rage reaction” through interviews of relatives. Several of the boxers died in psychiatric wards.

Decades earlier, boxers who became demented and deranged were known as “slug nutty,” according to a 1928 report by Dr. Harrison Martland.

Meanwhile, yet today, the NFL and loyalist experts loathe admitting that tackle football even causes long-term impairment, much less off-field violence by players and chaos for families. Continue reading

Now This is a Possible Game Changer

There have been many attempts to create a concussion “game changer”, something that will bring the assessment and/or recovery into better focus and provide more concrete answers for all of us.  One thing many people keep forgetting is that the human brain is not only very complex but it is also very individual.  Creating blanket statements, guidelines, and recommendations are very difficult; unless of course you use a multidisciplinary approach that touches on every part of the concussion sequale.

If you have read long enough and seen the comment section you will know that we have been clamoring for a more comprehensive, evidence-based, set of recommendations that broach all four parts of a concussion: physical, cognitive, sleep, and social/behavioral.  Perhaps the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation has done just that (.pdf at end of post and in “Current Concussion Management Page” or you can go to the ONF website);

ONF is pleased to publicly release the Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury (MTBI) and Persistent Symptoms.  The Guidelines were generated through a consensus process using existing evidence and clinical expertise. 10 to 15% of people who sustain MTBI do not recover well or as expected. The guidelines are therefore aimed at treating and reducing the impact of persistent symptoms following MTBI in adults.  On behalf of the project team that oversaw this work, ONF welcomes feedback on the Guidelines to info@onf.org

There have been other guidelines, one we hold as the standard (note not gold standard) Continue reading

UPMC and Recovery Predictor?

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and its concussion program have released what they think is a new model to predict how long each individual may take to recover.  Lead researcher on this topic is Dr. Micky Collins who stated in a press release that this information is a “game changer”.

The study involves the ImPACT neurocognitive testing platform (developed by UPMC) and its results two days after injury.  Although the actual score has not been released publicly; it will appear in the next issue of Neurosurgery.  The benefits of such a specific diagnostic indicator would be tremendous for a lot of interested parties.

At the end of the press release/story Dr. Collins indicated something that is similar to what we posted yesterday; “Eighty percent of concussed people recover inside of three weeks.”

This information is all well and good but I would like to speak to some initial “wait a second” thoughts I have regarding this study; Continue reading

Concussion Awareness/Testing and US Youth Soccer

On February 7th an agreement between a neurocognitive testing company and US Youth Soccer was made.  Not only was this a partnership for the use of the tool, but it also provides some of the best, in my opinion; concussion education, awareness and management tools out there.

Soccer has been a rather underrepresented sport when it comes to the concussion issue, perhaps because it does not garner the spotlight in today’s sports media, like that of football.  However, soccer has its fair share of brain injuries, one reason is the use of the head in the sport is encouraged.  Because of this it exposes players to more risk, even if heading the ball is controlled, what happens in the air leading to that can be more apropos to creating the sudden traumatic event causing a concussion.

Below is the full press release;

US Youth Soccer and Axon Sports bring Affordable Concussion Management to Leagues, Teams, and Clubs

Web-based tool helps medical providers manage concussions; facilitate the safe return of players to the field

FRISCO, Texas (February 7, 2012) – US Youth Soccer, the nation’s largest youth sports organization, today announces Axon Sports as a long-term strategic partner for computerized baseline testing for concussion management, leading the way in making soccer safer for kids at the grassroots level.  Through the relationship, US Youth Soccer will provide member discounts and educational resources on USYouthSoccer.org.  It will also provide more than 25,000 US Youth Soccer players free access to the Axon Sports Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT).      Continue reading

White Paper

Sometime today Sports Legacy Institute (SLI), headed by Dr. Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinski are going to release a “white paper” that will “plan to spread successful NFL policy changes to all youth sports,”  this according to Irvin Muchnick via his blog Concussion Inc.

What is a white paper?  Glad you asked it is important for context (via Wikipedia);

A white paper is an authoritative report or guide that helps solve a problem. White papers are used to educate readers and help people make decisions, and may be a consultation as to the details of new legislation. The publishing of a white paper signifies a clear intention on the part of a government to pass new law. White Papers are a ” … tool of participatory democracy … not [an] unalterable policy commitment.[1] “White Papers have tried to perform the dual role of presenting firm government policies while at the same time inviting opinions upon them.”

It is mentioned that along with SLI, Boston University’s Center for the Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephelopathy (headed by Dr. Ann McKee) will be in the white paper as well.

I will be interested to see what exactly they are Continue reading

Sobering Early Research

Last October, Purdue University released their first study on concussions and hits that high school players take in a season.  The take-away message from that initial study was;

Purdue researchers who monitored the helmets of 21 Lafayette Jefferson High School players found that players may be damaging their brains even if they have not been diagnosed with a concussion.

Another year and another set of data brings the West Lafayette group (Evan Breedlove, Eric Nauman, Lenny Leverenz, Thomas Talavage, Jeffrey Gilger, Meghan Robinson, Katherine E. Morigaki,  Umit Yoruk, Kyle O’Keefe, & Jeffrey King) – called the Purdue Neurotrauma Group – back into focus, now beginning to confirm their working hypothesis;

“The most important implication of the new findings is the suggestion that a concussion is not just the result of a single blow, but it’s really the totality of blows that took place over the season,” said Eric Nauman, an associate professor of mechanical engineering and an expert in central nervous system and musculoskeletal trauma. “The one hit that brought on the concussion is arguably the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

Using the same techniques of; neurocognitive testing, functional MRI and helmet impact telemetry the Purdue group Continue reading

Show Critiques (CNN and ESPN)

Yesterday there were two important shows that aired.  One on ESPN, the Outside the Lines presentation on helmets and the other was a documentary by CNN and Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

CNN and Dr. Sanjay Gupta presented an hour-long look into the concussion issue, mainly at the high school level.  Although the main press is with the professionals, the time spent at the high school was a HUGE KEY to making this documentary a success.  Like we have been posting on this blog for the past 18+ months the real issue with concussions begin at or earlier than high school.  This is not only because there are obviously more participants at the HS level, but it is also where kids are learning and learning how to learn.  In short the high school level is where the brain is functioning the hardest.

The presentation was excellent, it not only provided the current (subjectivity) but exploding (CTE) issues in the concussion discussion, but exposed a real solution to the issue. Continue reading

Computer Concussion Testing Issues

Thanks to an alert reader an article was sent to the inbox dealing with neuropsychological testing, specifically the ImPACT test.  The author of the article published on Slate, Christine Aschwanden, provides a very well written reason as to why some are starting to take a much harder look on these types of tests;

On closer inspection, though, the whole thing begins to fall apart. “It’s a huge scam,” says physician Robert Sallis, past president of the American College of Sports Medicine. “They’ve done incredible marketing, and they’ve managed to establish this test as the standard of care with no evidence that it has any benefit.”

Dr. Sallis is not the only one, in fact we receive numerous questions about all the NP tests, and recently we have seen more and more research regarding the downfalls of this type of testing.  Research like this one (sourced in the article) written by physical therapists and a physician are being done by independent parties and seem to reveal there is a problem.  According to one of the developers of ImPACT some of the information is not viable if only because of the particular journal it appeared in; Continue reading

Tuesday Quick Hits (UPDATED)

Bending the rules for a star is not uncommon, heck we see it almost every week in the NFL as players are initially reported to have “dirt in the eye”, or “back spasms”, etc.  However it is rare that you see an overt “relaxing” of rules to possibly allow them to play.  It has happened in the UK in Premiere League Soccer, the team is Arsenal Manchester United and the player is Rio Ferdinand (bold my emphasis);

Ferdinand claimed on Twitter that he ‘could not remember’ what happened during United’s 3-0 victory over Bolton at Old Trafford on Saturday.

He also admitted  he had suffered concussion, which under previous FA rules meant he would automatically miss the next 10 days.

But the FA have relaxed the guidelines and Ferdinand, 33, will now be put through a thorough medical examination.

Thanks to twitter both @SportsDocSkye and @SportsDoc_Chris find that the article as I have presented it and was reported in the link is inaccurate.  I appreciate them following and correcting this issue (also my stupidity when it comes to European Futbol).  The issue that needs correcting is that the current FA concussion guidelines follow the Zurich statement and a player will follow graduated return to play, meaning the 10 day issue is moot…

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I was reading an editorial in the Star Tribune about how the concussion laws could be a detriment to coaches and teams, when I came across some good Continue reading

Grantland Article – Jonah Lehrer

I tweeted about it and want to put a link here on the site for those looking for information.  This article by Jonah Lehrer does a wonderful job of not only explaining the concussive injury but also explaining why there may be an issue going forward with the sport of football.  Here is an excerpt;

But we do know what happens once it’s broken. In the milliseconds after a concussion, there is a sudden release of neurotransmitters as billions of brain cells turn themselves on at the exact same time. This frenzy of activity leads to a surge of electricity, an unleashing of the charged ions contained within neurons. It’s as if the brain is pouring out its power.

The worst part of the concussion, however, is what happens next, as all those cells frantically work to regain their equilibrium. This process takes time, although how long is impossible to predict: sometimes hours, sometimes weeks, sometimes never. (The latest guidelines suggest that most concussed subjects require at least 10 days to recover, with adolescents generally needing a few days more.) While the brain is restoring itself, people suffer from a long list of side effects, which are intended to keep them from thinking too hard. Bright lights are painful; memory is fragile and full of holes; focus is impossible.

The healing also has to be uninterrupted. In the aftermath of a traumatic brain injury, the brain remains extremely fragile. Because neurons are still starved for energy, even a minor “secondary impact” can unleash a devastating molecular cascade. All of a sudden, brain cells that seemed to be regaining their balance begin committing suicide. The end result is a massive loss of neurons. Nobody knows why this loss happens. But the loss is permanent.

Teenagers are especially susceptible to these mass cellular suicides. This is largely because their brains are still developing, which means that even a slight loss of cells can alter the trajectory of brain growth. Football concussions are also most likely to affect the parts of the brain, such as the frontal lobes, that are undergoing the most intense development. (The frontal lobes are responsible for many higher cognitive functions, such as self-control and abstract reasoning. The immaturity of these areas helps explain the immaturity of teenagers.)

We have stated over and over here Continue reading

Wonderful Retrospective Article

Originally published August 11th, “Student athletes suffer the stings of concussions while lawmakers fail to help” written by Steve Jansen and Gus Garcia-Roberts (not their first) in the Miami New Times News shows examples of how missing concussions and not handling them correctly (from player to coach to parents to athletic trainers) can be very troubling.

Including in this piece are quotes from Dr. David Hovda, one of the leaders in concussion/brain trauma research from UCLA, as well as other lawmakers and parents.

I was previously unaware of the Village Voice Media research and findings; Continue reading

Marines Tracking Concussions/TBI

Effective January 1, the United State Marine Corps will begin tracking all marines and sailors who have sustained head injuries;

The Marine Corps wants to make sure Marines and sailors who suffer concussions and other head injuries are tagged and tracked in a medical database, which officials hope will lead to better health care and treatment.

Starting Jan. 1, every unit will be required to record its Marines and sailors who suffer, or previously had suffered, a traumatic brain injury at any time.

This is a great bit of news for the men and women in uniform, as head injuries compromise the majority of all injuries in the Afgan and Iraq theaters. Here is how Gidget Fuentes wrote how it will work; Continue reading

Exclusive Story from Irv Muchnick

Irvin Muchnick is a writer and investigative journalist who previously mainly focused on the WWE.  Muchnick has changed gears a bit and started Concussion Inc, a website focusing on the brain injury issue.

Yesterday on his website Irv posted an article about the neurocognitive test ImPACT; specifically about the statements from the company that baseline tests are unnecessary;

In a finding that exposes just how aggressively, misleadingly, and perniciously ImPACT concussion management software is being marketed, Concussion Inc. has uncovered ImPACT and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center documents advising potential purchasers that not even baseline neurocognitive tests are needed in order to safely use their expensive, for-profit product.

I will freely admit that early on I truly believed that the need for a baseline was secondary due to the wealth (or lack there of) of information regarding normative data.  Normative data can be useful for a myriad of issues but I have since corrected my thinking and fully understand that a baseline test is needed for proper clinical evaluation of a concussion.  It could be a baseline for balance or the SAC or the combination of the two; the SCAT2.  If you don’t have information about the injured brain prior to injury how would one truly know where he/she stands?  In the case of not getting baseline information on an athlete (which can be as subjective as knowing the individual) there is nothing to refer to for return to activity other than the patients subjective responses. Continue reading

Sunday Slants

For your early reading on a Sunday here are a couple of stories; like the slant route quick hitting but you have the opportunity to go further if you wish.

Misleading Headline

Chargers’ Dielman out for two games after concussion, seizure“…  To put a definite number on return to play is WRONG for all brain injuries; although the article hints at a longer out period the headline is poor at best.  And guess what it was published by the NFL.

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Misleading Nomenclature

There was another concussion in NCAA hoop as UConn player Andre Drummond broke his nose and was diagnosed with a concussion, but according to the player it was only “mild”;

“This sucks,” Drummond wrote. “Mild concussion and I broke my nose. Worst day ever.”

There is NO SUCH THING AS A MILD CONCUSSION, period.

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Misleading a Player

Quite possibly one of the worst revelations we have seen in sports an athlete, professional soccer player Taylor Twellman, was intentionally misled into playing; Continue reading

Reflective Quotes From Dissertation

I was very lucky to be sent the dissertation from Don Brady, PhD, PsyD, NCSP he wrote in 2004 titled; A Preliminary Investigation of Active and Retired NFL Players’ Knowledge of Concussion.  This read has been extremely enlightening and I consider this piece, written in 2004, ahead of its time.  It is a shame that some could not see what Brady saw 7 years ago.

Here are some excerpts I have recently thought about;

On page 93 of his work you can find a warning from Dr. Cantu from 1997, yes 1997;

A concussion warning notice that Cantu (1997) has proposed for football may also be applied to participation in all sports.  More specifically, Cantu has advocated for the placement of essential information about concussion—symptoms and risk factors–on all football helmets.  The neurosurgeon’s suggested message follows: Continue reading

Comprehensive Article From LA Weekly

Kids are the reason there is so much buzz about concussions.  The professional player understands the risk and is getting paid to take those risks, kids are not.  The other more important reason is that a younger brain can be more adversely affected by an insult/concussion.  Steve Jansen and Gus Garcia-Roberts wrote an extensive and comprehensive article titled: Concussions Take a Terrible Toll on America’s Young Athletes.

Across the country, people have awakened to the sometimes irreversible damage of concussions, especially in high-impact professional sports. With much of the attention focused on the National Football and National Hockey leagues, Village Voice Media conducted a nationwide investigation into the consequences of concussion on youth athletes.

The article finds that there are some inherent gaps in the former and current systems for concussion recognition and return to play.  A lot of the confusion Continue reading

Great Resource About Concussion Myths

Matt Chaney has been busy this summer with work, but he found some time to forward a bunch of links regarding concussions.  There were a lot dealing with the state laws and the mandates now in place across the sporting landscape, all with very valid opinions.  Some dealt with his area of expertise, steroid and PED detection.  However there was one that I must share with you; a link to a NASP Communique (National Association of School Psychologists)

The link was very resourceful but the gem was the attached .pdf that dealt with the myths we commonly hear with concussions.  Due to the rudeness of ripping off all the information below you will see the myths they took on, and for the actual facts please click on the .pdf link above;

Identifying Concussions

  • Professionals agree on the definition of a concussion.
  • A more accurate term for concussion is a head injury rather than a brain injury. Continue reading

Ankle Sprain = Lower Neurocognitive Scores?

According to some recent research out of Toronto, to be published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, led by Michael Hutchison this is the case.  Any athlete suffering an injury showed declines in neurocognitive testing, significantly compared to a control group.

In this study both concussed athletes and other injured athletes were compared to a control group of uninjured athletes;

For the current study, researchers at the University of Toronto gave the 20-minute computer test to 72 student-athletes, including football, hockey, and lacrosse players. Eighteen of those athletes had suffered a concussion in the past three days, and another 18 had been taken out recently by a muscle or tendon injury.

The other 36, used for comparison, were uninjured.

We would all suspect that the concussion group would decline Continue reading