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Sports-Related Concussions & Subconcussive Injuries

CTE: Media Continues To Be Ahead Of Science

Despite widespread media coverage and speculation regarding the late-life or post-retirement risks of cognitive impairment in athletes who engaged in sports involving repetitive blows to the head and high concussion risk, and assertions that CTE causes them to be at high risk of suicide, there have been virtually no peer-reviewed, well-designed scientific studies that establish, much less quantify, such risks.

Letting Kids Play Football is Not Child Abuse


The last three weeks have witnessed an all-out assault on the game of football, not coincidentally timed with the beginning of NFL training camps. First came a study reporting CTE in 110 of 111 brains of former NFL players. Following closely on the heels of that media circus was the publication last week of a new book by Dr. Bennet Omalu, Truth Doesn't Have a Side, and interviews in which Dr. Omalu, as he has for several years, argues that letting kids play football is the "definition" of child abuse. The not-so-surprising result has been a tsunami of emails in my Inbox asking for my views on the subject.

Are parents committing child abuse simply by allowing their kids to play a collision sport like football before middle school? Not unless it rises to the level of a callous and wanton disregard for a child's safety (e.g. reckless endangerment).

CTE: Is The Media Scaring Young Athletes To Death?

As someone who has been educating sports parents about head trauma in sports for the past seventeen years, and about the very real risk posed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the last decade, it is not surprising that I receive emails from parents all the time expressing deep concern about stories in the media that have led them - wrongly - to fear that playing contact or collision sports, or suffering a sports-related concussion, especially one slow to heal, makes it inevitable that their child will develop CTE and is at greatly increased risk of committing suicide.

As someone who has been educating sports parents about head trauma in sports for the past seventeen years, and about the very real risk posed by chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) for the last decade, it is not surprising that I receive emails from parents all the time expressing deep concern about stories in the media that have led them - wrongly - to fear that playing contact or collision sports, or suffering a sports-related concussion, especially one slow to heal, makes it inevitable that their child will develop CTE and is at greatly increased risk of committing suicide.

SmartTeams' de Lench and MacDonald Present Six Pillars Concussion Program at IOC World Conference

Brooke de Lench, Executive Director of MomsTeam Institute, Inc., and Jim MacDonald, M.D., M.P.H., a member of the MomsTeam Board of Directors, and a sports medicine physician at Nationwide Children's Hospital presented MomsTeam's Smart Teams Play Safe concussion risk reduction program at the International Olympic Committee's World Conference On Prevention of Injury and Illness in Sport in Monaco.

Vision Assessment Should Be Part Of Return-To-Learn Protocol, UAB Researchers Say

A comprehensive vision assessment should be part of return-to-learn protocols to help determine when children are ready to return to the classroom following concussions - particularly in children reporting academic difficulty, says a new study.

Inadequate Helmet Fit Increases Concussion Severity In High School Football Players

High school football players who sustain concussions while wearing improperly fitted helmets are at higher risk of experiencing more symptoms and taking longer to recover, with concussions of longer duration also more common in players with an air-bladder helmet. High schools should ensure proper adult oversight of football helmet fit throughout the season, says the study.

Sports Concussion Research, CTE, and the Media: Can The Disconnect Ever Be Repaired?

The public's perception that a direct causal link exists between repetitive head contact and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is largely the result of one-sided, sensationalized, and biased reporting, argue four head injury researchers in a provocative editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

"Back in the Game": A Concussion Book That Stands Out In a Crowded Field

 

Back in the Game book cover

While the pile of concussion books in my office continues to grow taller, seemingly with every passing day, one that will stay at the top of the very short pile of my favorites is Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn't Have To End Your Athletic Career (Oxford University Press, New York 2016) by sports neurologist Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., and award-winning sports journalist Joanne Gerstner.

While the pile of concussion books in my office continues to grow taller, seemingly with every passing day, one that will stay at the top of the very short pile of my favorites is Back in the Game: Why Concussion Doesn't Have To End Your Athletic Career (Oxford University Press, New York 2016) by sports neurologist Jeffrey Kutcher, M.D., and award-winning sports journalist Joanne Gerstner.

Playing With Concussion Doubles Recovery Time For High School Athletes

High school athletes who continue to play with a sport-related concussion (SRC) take nearly twice as long to be cleared for a full return to sports than those who are immediately removed from play, finds a new study.
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