Delaware Youth Concussion Summit – Wrap Up

A regular reader and a very good friend to The Concussion Blog was fortunate enough to attend the Delaware Youth Concussion Summit the past week.  I had asked her to write-up a report and she kindly and succinctly did that for TCB.  Because of Dorothy Bedford I can bring you this information, thank you.  This is also a reminder that if you attend a conference, symposium or summit and feel the information would good for the readers you are more than welcome to submit it so us in a .doc or .docx form and we will publish.  Without further ado here is Dorothy’s contribution;

The Delaware Youth Concussion Summit, an initiative organized by the State Council for Persons with Disabilities Brain Injury Committee, Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, and the Brain Injury Association of Delaware, yesterday released its three-point Action Plan regarding the diagnosis, management, and return to activity for the rising number of young people sustaining concussions in sports activities. Participants in the summit and action work groups include leaders and experts in medicine, neuro-psychology, education, sports, advocacy, state agencies, and elected officials.

The Summit aims to further the aims of Delaware’s concussion legislation, signed in August 2011, which mandated both concussion training for all DIAA coaches and awareness training for parents and athletes, and set some rules around written medical clearances before returning to play.

After convening in May 2013, the Summit divided itself into working groups and today announced three focus areas for further action:  Continue reading

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UPMC Blazes Trail… Comes up with curious results

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and the University of Pittsburgh did something that has not been done up to this point; an intensive study on youth football.  Using geography as its selector the prestigious group looked into Pop Warner football and concussion rates.  The sample size is impressive, over 11,000 athletic exposures over an entire season of play (2011).

However, instead of heralding the work more questions have been raised about the conclusions drawn by lead researcher Micky Collins, PhD.  I don’t want to “lead the witness” before you had the chance to hear yourself, watch Dr. Collins below;

Interestingly enough Dr. Collins’ points regarding the depth and breadth of this investigation are spot on, it was both needed and welcome.  It is good to have a starting point and something to say “this is where we came from” at all levels of sport – with regards to concussions.  After that, I personally Continue reading

Limiting Head Trauma is Logical

The research is starting to come in; the problem is that results and conclusions bring more questions that should be answered.  Naturally some will look at early evidence and make a 180 degree change on their attitudes about certain things.  We are talking about concussions and the research associated with it.  Unfortunately there is plenty of anecdotal and observational cases that sear into our memory, this perhaps shape our thought process.  Along with that there is gathering evidence that supports some sort of process change in how we handle this particular injury.

The need to make change is upon us, that cannot be debated; what can be debated is how or what the changes should be.  I recently read an article where Micky Collins of UPMC said something to the effect of current concussion concern is like a pendulum that has swung all the way to the other side.  Although the changes in sports and activities has certainly not taken that full swing the other way, the pendulum is on the way.  His feelings, like mine is that there is no evidence to suggest that a full swing to the other side is warranted, rather there needs to be competent and complete understanding of what we are facing.  Rather than making full sweeping changes that would be akin to digging up your backyard to rid your self of a mole; when placing traps and poisons and maybe only having to dig up a small section would fix the problem.

There are definitely things we can do as parents, players, coaches, researchers, doctors and concerned people in general to make a dent in the issue.  If we find that the changes are not working then taking another aggressive step may be necessary.  I guess the reason for the above rant is to reinforce the need for changes, but the right changes.  (As I wrote the last sentence I realized how do we know if the changes are the “right” ones; I guess we don’t but certainly what is happening now needs attention).

One of the small changes that can be made is very obvious to me; 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