We are becoming increasingly aware of sports concussions and the link between concussions and brain injuries. The retired NFL players who have come forward to speak about the long-term effects of the multiple concussions they experienced in the game have helped to shed light on the issues as have the unfortunate deaths by suicide of players like Junior Seau and Dave Dursen. The research into the long-term, compound effects of multiple concussions also has identified the clinical course of a chronic disease known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy or CTE with significant cognitive, psychological and emotional components.
Recently, the American Academy of Neurology published a summary article regarding the evaluation and management of sports concussions in the journal, Neurology. This article identifies the process of identifying individuals who have experienced concussion, establishes guidelines for managing the injury and discusses the risk for additional concussions as well as identifies the individuals who are at-risk for developing neurobehavioral problems. There are sound practice guidelines in this article that are valuable to the clinician working with individuals with concussions.
Click here to read the pre-publication version of the article in Neurology.