The release of the movie "Concussion" inspired thoughtful discussion on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, concussion, and youth sports. Read more for how parents can be counseled to minimize risk while reaping the benefits of youth sports.
Probably along with many of you, our household cheered when the United States won the Women’s World Cup championship last month. Amidst the excitement for the win, however, one moment in the tournament stands out for me- a controversial decision in the USA vs. Germany game to allow two players back into the match following a head to head collision. Regardless of whether that was the correct call, I think it’s important to recognize that when it comes to concussion risk, coaches and clinicians should take a more conservative approach for youth athletes.
I recently co-authored a research article in the Journal of Pediatrics that identified pre-existing characteristics associated with prolonged recovery from concussions for children and youth (ages 5-18 years). Readers can use these data to further study risk factors for prolonged recovery, and to help with decision-making and care planning for concussion patients.
CIRP@CHOP's Kristy Arbogast, PhD and Mark Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE will be expert participants in a December 2nd Twitter Chat on sports-related head injuries in children, tweeting under the handle @safetymd. The chat will cover the latest concussion research, advocacy efforts, education about protecting young athletes, signs and symptoms of concussions, and treatment options.
In a patient with direct trauma to the head and who presents with clear symptoms, the diagnosis of concussion is generally straightforward. However, it can be much more challenging to diagnose a subtle concussion, particularly among patients with multiple injuries or non-direct head trauma.
Published this week, a study in Pediatrics provides evidence for cognitive rest as an effective strategy following a concussion. Naomi Brown, MD, a Sports Medicine specialist at CHOP, found that study participants with the highest levels of activity suffered longer duration of symptoms than those with lower levels of cognitive activity. Kristy Arbogast, PhD speaks with Dr. Brown about the research questions that would help clinicians, as well as a new assessment tool called the Cognitive Activity Scale.
I recently co-authored a study that identified certain groups of children with poor quality of life outcomes after suffering a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI). Children from low-income families, with Medicaid insurance, with less educated parents, or of Hispanic ethnicity were more likely to have poor outcomes at follow-up when compared to other children.
Although well-intentioned, helmets and playing/practice standards such as hit counts have jumped ahead of the science in concussion prevention. This and other topics are covered in release of the Institute of Medicine’s report on youth sports-related concussion, released today.
In order to address the most common questions about pediatric concussion that CHOP concussion specialists hear from patients, parents, school and coaches, the Minds Matter team at CIRP@CHOP created eight short videos ranging in length from 1.5 to 3.5 minutes. The videos are simple, direct and provide answers in relatable terms for families.
CIRP@CHOP's Mark Zonfrillo, MD, MSCE (@safetymd) will be an expert participant in an upcoming Twitter Chat on sports-related head injuries in children. The chat will cover a wide variety of topics including the latest concussion research, advocacy, education about how to protect young athletes, signs and symptoms of concussions, and treatment options.