There Is More Than Football

I know we all think of late August and early September as football season, but there are other sports out there that deserve some attention as well.  I do empathize with the football coaches that constantly tell me we are “picking” on that particular sport – we are not.  It is tough to overlook a sport that garners the most eyes and advertising around here.  That being said there are other sports either just starting, gearing up or in the final stretch that deserve note.

Baseball is grinding to the playoff push and under the radar is the fact that catchers are finally being honest about their heads.  Many have hit the DL this year for concussions, most recently Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins.  Certainly there have been others but it is worth noting that late in the season, seeing catchers develop concussions should not, nor will it be a surprise in the future.

Summer heat does not make one immediately think of ice rinks and hockey pucks, but Canada’s most popular sport will soon be getting into camp to prepare for the upcoming season.  When the puck does finally drop in early October (Go Avs!) the NHL looks to improve on their better handle on concussions.  But, the bigger reason for preparing for the hockey season is the upcoming Ice Hockey Summit II, held at the Mayo ClinicContinue reading

Ice Hockey Summit II

The Mayo Clinic is hosting their second Ice Hockey summit, October 8th and 9th in Rochester, Minnesota.  The title on this one is “Action on Concussions”;

The prevalence and consequences of concussion at all levels of ice hockey are concerning. Reduction of concussion risk, as well as improved concussion diagnosis and management require a collaborative effort from medicine, psychology, sport science, coaching, engineering, officiating, manufacturing, and community partners. This quality scientific program focuses on education and generates an evidence-based action plan designed to make a difference.

Registration fee is $275-350 and space is limited so make your plans now, and click above. Continue reading

Mayo Clinic Looking into Autonomic Response to Concussion

Neurologists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona have taken a promising step toward identifying a test that helps support the diagnosis of concussion. Their research has shown that autonomic reflex testing, which measures involuntary changes in heart rate and blood pressure, consistently appear to demonstrate significant changes in those with concussion.

Appearing on their website, the information researchers are delving into is a new angle on  concussions.  It is widely known that traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients have autonomic system (ANS) deficits/abnormalities.  However the group from Arizona thought an investigation into concussed patients was worth the effort.  Low and behold their findings are a promising first step in possible assessment and management of the concussion.

One interesting note, was this notion on dizziness;

“Contrary to popular belief, the symptoms of ‘dizziness’ that patients feel just after a concussion may, in some cases, be symptoms of autonomic system impairment rather than a vestibular or inner ear disturbance,” says Bert Vargas, M.D., a Mayo neurologist.

No one is telling you to take blood pressures with assessment (ergo baselines), yet, but with this information could come not only objective testing but biomarkers associated with ANS changes;

“This study shows a possible electrophysiological biomarker that indicates that a concussion has occurred — we are hopeful that with more research this will be confirmed and that this may also be a biomarker for recovery,” he says.

Ice Hockey Summit: Action on Concussions

The Mayo Clinic is hosting this conference today and tomorrow in hopes of examining, educating and making changes in the sport of hockey to reduce the concussions.  As you have seen here on this blog NHL concussion are numerous, already.

The conference is being led and put together by Dr. Michael Stuart.

Stuart, the vice chair of orthopedic surgery and the co-director of sports medicine center departments at the Mayo Clinic, is spearheading a two-day summit on concussions beginning Tuesday.

Scientists, trainers, coaches, officials, and equipment manufacturers from the United States, Canada and Europe will gather at the clinic’s sports medicine center for the “Ice Hockey Summit: Action on Concussion” conference.

What is groundbreaking about this summit is that there will be an action plan voted on by the attendees and put into place after the summit is over.

“When this is done, we’re not only going to have the most up-to-date information about concussions, but we’re also going to have an action plan which has been prioritized by leaders in the medical community as well as the sport of hockey,” Stuart said.

Read the story at the WashingtonExaminer.com.