As many of you know I like to periodically scan the news and research publications to update you on what is happening in the world of sport-related concussions. Given the recent release of post-concussion syndrome treatment guidelines and the start of the new NFL season concussions still remain a common topic of discussion. Below you find links to recent research studies, personal stories and injury reports relating to concussions. This information is posted for your review and critical analysis. I will provide a brief description of the links I have posted to give you a better starting point for what you’re about to read.
NFL CONCUSSION COUNTS:
It seems if you read the sports section of any newspaper on Monday it is littered with reports of who was diagnosed with a concussion, who returned after a concussion on who didn’t. Ever wonder how many concussions happen in the NFL in a given week and ultimately over the season? If so, here are some links you can follow to track that information for yourself:
RECENT RESEARCH RESULTS:
There is always a regular stream of concussion research being published. The topics range from understanding the forces that cause concussions, understanding diagnostic tools, recommendations on how to manage concussions and the role of equipment in concussion prevention. As I scan the various outlets some of the more interesting research publications that have caught my attention are the following:
Guidelines for Mild Traumatic Brain Injury and Persistent Symptoms. Published by the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation these guidelines focus on how to manage treatment in patients that are suffering from post-concussion syndrome (PCS). It is important to note that the recommendations are based on the broader topic of mTBI, not just sports-related concussions. The statement does take the time to speak to sports-related concussions specifically, while also addressing a variety of common PCS symptoms such as persistent headache and mood changes (anxiety, depression).
Post-exertion neurocognitive test failure among student-athletes following concussion. The author’s in this study show that athletes who passed a neurocognitive exam (like imPACT) at rest, often failed if the same test if performing physical exertion prior to completing the exam. Authors advocate for post-concussion neurocognitive testing to include an exam following physical exertion as part of the return-to-play protocol.
Sport-Related Concussion: How Many is Too Many? Is a review article where authors review available current research in an effort to systematically answer the question, “How many is too many?”
Time Interval between Concussion and Symptom Duration. Authors attempt to understand the impact of previous concussion history has on the duration of symptoms of additional concussions. Authors state that children with a previous history of concussion (especially repeat concussions) are at higher risk for prolonged symptoms following a concussion.
NCAA Concussion Education in Ice Hockey:Authors systematically review the materials and methods used by the NCAA to provide concussion education to its member institution athletes (specifically in ice hockey) and found the materials and techniques did not significantly change athlete’s reporting behavior.
OTHER INTERESTING STORIES:
Is the iOS 7 Making You Sick? Here’s Why… I first saw this piece linked on The Knockout Project, but apparently a lot of people are having a tough time with this one, especially those with PCS or a previous history of concussions.
ER Visits, Hospital Admissions for Children with Concussion Skyrocketing. Recent research shows a growing number of children being seen in the ER for concussions.
The NFL and Concussions: Knowing What We Knew. An interesting read regarding concussion management and the role sport culture (particularly as promoted by coaches) plays in under reporting and returning to play too soon.
League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis: The book becomes available Tuesday while the 2-part documentary starts next week.
Pink Concussions: A resource focused on the concussion experience in girls and women. They are currently seeking girls to participate in a research study who have a history of concussion.
This is just a smattering of the most recent information that is out there. There is so much more. As always I encourage you to do your own research and reading on topics that interest you. There are a variety of digital search tools out there that can help you do your searches systematically. If you'd like to learn more about how to do this just drop me a line and I'd be happy to help!
Submitted by Heather L. Clemons, MS, MBA, ATC