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Concussion Recognition & Evaluation

NFL's Super Bowl Ad Obscured Reality

Most of the buzz about the commercials that aired during this Sunday's Super Bowl was about the Chrysler ad featuring Clint Eastwood, but, for me, the one commercial I won't forget was the 60-second spot by the N.F.L. at the end of the third quarter touting the league's progress since its founding to make the game safer.

The N.F.L.'s Super Bowl commercial touting the league's progress since its founding to make the game safer obscured the reality that league has not done enough to protect its current players from the dangers of head injuries and left too many of its former players struggling in retirement with symptoms of early dementia, depression, and thoughts of suicide.

The Unmarked Detour: Final Thoughts and Biggest Regrets

In the last part of her series, Dorothy Bedford offers final observations on her teenage daughter Heidi's concussion two years after that fateful night, her four biggest regrets, and her advice to parents of concussed student-athletes.

Computerized Neurocognitive Baseline Concussion Testing At Home: Why I'm Against It

A couple of weeks ago a team and league management technology provider and a neurocognitive testing company announced a partnership to provide online testing for athletes. The announcement prompted emails to MomsTEAM from parents asking for my opinion on how and where to have their children's baseline neurocognitive tests done, and whether they could do them at home.  While I have been fielding similar e-mails for years, the uptick in emails prompted me to do some digging to come up with an answer.

Computerized neurocognitive tests which athletes can take in the comfort of their parent's home may be affordable, but MomsTeam's Brooke de Lench argues that concussion testing should be left to concussion professionals trained in properly administering and interpreting the results, not sold on line for use without supervision.  Leading experts and the Centers for Disease Control agree.

Sarah Burke's Death: A Reminder To Take All Head and Neck Injuries Seriously

Vertebral artery (e.g. whiplash) injuries, such as the one that claimed the life of Canadian freestyle skier, Sarah Burke, can occur to athletes in contact sports, such as football and hockey, and sports where falling is common, such as skateboarding and skiing

The Unmarked Detour: One Family's Journey Through Post-Concussion Syndrome

When her daughter Heidi suffered a concussion warming up in goal before a hockey game in February 2010, litle did Dorothy Bedford realize that the night would mark the beginning of a fourteen-month long recovery from post-concussion syndrome requiring three medical leaves of absences and treatment by nearly a dozen medical specialists.

 

Baseline Concussion Testing Products: Caution Urged In Purchase Decision

Accessibility and reliability are two factors to be considered in the purchase of computerized neurocognitive testing programs.

Baseline Neurocognitive Testing Before Winter Sports Activities: An Idea Whose Time Has Come?

I remember one time, when my kids were six, going ice skating at a new rink with my sister Drew, her daughter Courtney, and my triplet sons. The excitement of a new rink and lots of kids zipping around provided for a lot of great fun and laughs, but ended, unfortunately, in an accident and a terrifying trip to the hospital, the memory of which is still vivid.Girl lacing up figure skates

Baseline neurocognitive testing in team sports such as hockey, lacrosse and football is increasingly common, but it might be a good idea to have kids tested before they participate in winter sports such as recreational skating, snowboarding or skiing as well.

Shockbox Helmet Sensor: A Concussion Alert System

Using technology developed for use by the U.S. military in combat helmets as a springboard, a Canadian company, Impakt Protective Inc., recently introduced a revolutionary head impact sensor called ShockboxTM. Installed in a player's helmet, the sensor triggers an alert on a smart phone any time a player suffers an "at risk" hit that may be concussive.

Unmarked Detour: Long Concussion Journey Begins Before Puck Even Drops

After sustaining a series of hits to her head during the previous week's training, Heidi Taggart asked her ice hockey coach to be excused from goaltending during a game in February 2010 when she began experiencing "flu-like" symptoms.  He told her to "suck it up" and take the ice. During pre-game warm-ups, a teammate's stick hit Heidi in the head during the follow-through from a wrist shot.  She immediately began experiencing concussion symptoms (headache, disorientation, drowsiness), but the injury was not initially thought to be too serious.   It was anything but. As her mom, Dorothy Bedford, now recalls, the road Heidi travelled from that Friday night on the way to recovery from post-concussion syndrome would be marked by a long series of "unmarked detours" taking fourteen months and requiring treatment from more than 10 different medical specialists.

Unmarked Detour: EEG and MRI No Help in Treating Concussion

When her concussed daughter Heidi began feeling  "buzzy" for 60- to 90-seconds at a time, Dorothy Bedford was scared, but diagnostic tests (EEG and MRI) were no help in identifying the reason for her symptoms.
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