Monthly Archives: July 2013

More concussions suffered by NCAA players than we thought?

brock blog april 2013We just read a thought-provoking article by Mike Freeman of CBS that focused on an interesting number – 29,225. You see according to the NCAA’s own injury-tracking data, that represents the total number of concussions from all NCAA sports during 2004- 2009 – and over half of them occurred in football, which is more than all other fall sports combined. He wonders if a legion of players entered the NFL already having head trauma from their collegiate days….

Here’s an excerpt from his story:

Of the many accusations springing from what is emerging as a historic legal case against the NCAA, the biggest claims negligence in how the governing body of college athletics monitored and handled concussions for its athletes.

The issues are complicated, but what I mainly wanted to do was examine a number: 29,225.

That, according to the NCAA’s own injury-tracking data, was the total number of concussions from all NCAA sports from 2004-2009.

American Academy of Neurology Updates Sports Concussions Guidelines

AAN logoDid you know that concussions impact more than one million American athletes each year? That’s why the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) released an evidence-based guideline for evaluating and managing athletes with concussions a few months ago.  The updated guidelines, developed through an objective evidence-based review of the literature by a multidisciplinary committee of experts, have been endorsed by a broad range of athletic, medical and patient groups.

“Among the most important recommendations the Academy is making is that any athlete suspected of experiencing a concussion immediately be removed from play,” said co-lead guideline author Christopher C. Giza, MD, with the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA and a member of the AAN. “We’ve moved away from the concussion grading systems we first established in 1997 and are now recommending that concussion and return to play be assessed in each athlete individually. There is no set timeline for safe return to play.”

The updated guideline recommends athletes with suspected concussion be immediately taken out of the game and not returned until assessed by a licensed health care professional trained in concussion, return to play slowly and only after all acute symptoms are gone. Athletes of high school age and younger with a concussion should be managed more conservatively in regard to return to play, as evidence shows that they take longer to recover than college athletes.

Highlights of the updated guideline include:

  • Among the sports in the studies evaluated, risk of concussion is greatest in football and rugby, followed by hockey and soccer. The risk of concussion for young women and girls is greatest in soccer and basketball.
  • An athlete who has a history of one or more concussions is at greater risk for being diagnosed with another concussion.
  • The first 10 days after a concussion appears to be the period of greatest risk for being diagnosed with another concussion.
  • There is no clear evidence that one type of football helmet can better protect against concussion over another kind of helmet. Helmets should fit properly and be well maintained.
  • Licensed health professionals trained in treating concussion should look for ongoing symptoms (especially headache and fogginess), history of concussions and younger age in the athlete. Each of these factors has been linked to a longer recovery after a concussion.
  • Risk factors linked to chronic neurobehavioral impairment in professional athletes include prior concussion, longer exposure to the sport and having the ApoE4 gene.

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Safety Contest
Holy Innocents’ Episcopalian School in Atlanta, Georgia Won $5,000 Worth of Sports Equipment in the Brock Safety MVP National Contest!
When the game clock hits zero and the final buzzer sounds, all that’s left are the stats. But win or lose, each team names one most valuable player for the game. What if safety was named the MVP in every game? What if safety was as important to each player as winning?

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