Sports concussions worry neurologists; risk of Alzheimer's and dementia

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) released on Monday broad recommendations on how sports can deal with the issue of concussions. The AAN stated that sports where athletes have concussion risks should have a qualified athletic trainer on the playing area at all times - even for children's games and for practices. Currently, only 40% of high schools in the United States have certified trainers and many younger-aged programs do not have certified trainers at all. The AAN recommends avoiding contact sports entirely in your school if a certified trainer cannot be hired. However, the Academy recognizes that this is merely a golden standard to strive towards and may not be feasible. Rick Bowden, the assistant executive director of the Kansas State High School Activities Association, called the AAN's recommendations "a laudable goal" but added that "there is no way that could happen."

We understand completely that is undoable in today's environment, but we think that is a correct way to organize our priorities -- Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, chair of the AAN's sports neurology section
 The group said that an athlete with concussion symptoms should be evaluated by a specialist and should not take the field until medically cleared. Concussion symptoms include unconsciousness, unsteadiness, memory or concentration problems, dizziness and headaches. College football and professional football leagues have already taken greater measures towards dealing with concussed players even before this announcement by the AAN. This season, professional players - in particular quarterbacks - must pass a set of test before even being allowed to practice. The NFL has also increased fines and suspension time for helmet-to-helmet hits which often cause concussions. These changes are in the face of overwhelming evidence that concussions have long-term ramifications to the health of athletes. Research has shown that repeated concussions on NFL players may increase the likelihood of dementia and Alzheimer's. Kutcher pointed out various long-term consequences of concussions such as decreased mental ability, depression, anxiety, and personality changes. Last week, a 17-year-old football player from Kansas collapsed on the sidelines and later died. While his cause of death has not been found, the boy had not been cleared to play by a doctor after suffering a concussion earlier in the season. In March, the National Hockey League banned shoulder hits to the head from the blind side.

It has long been known that repeated head blows can cause brain degeneration in boxers however more information is coming in on concussions in other contact sports such as football and hockey. Kutcher believes that standards for dealing with concussions will improve as society changes and that the new rules in the NFL and NHL are a good head start which will hopefully transcend down the the younger players.

Source: NPR

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2 Responses to “Sports concussions worry neurologists; risk of Alzheimer's and dementia”

  1. Anonymous says:

    http://www.usajunio /USAJHM_Sept_09_12_2 4.pdf

    http://www.mahercor Traumatology%20Publi cation.pdf

    The links above have information vital to parents who are looking to protect their kids from mtbi and concussion. The most recent data shows that even the mild form of dings are dangerous and the most hidden. Boxing may hold a crucial piece of the puzzle. Protecting the jaw, something a helmet can't do, is key. Face cages rest on the chin and players hit with their shoulders like a boxer punch. The 2008 AHL Hershey Bears players missed 147 games due to concussion, in 2009 after evaluation and fitting with a corrective medical device, funded by the NHL's workers comp provider CHUBB, not one game was missed due to concussion. Correcting diagnosable imbalances, clicking, Popping in the jaw will help reduce energy transfer to the skullbase during these jaw related events. Common, non jaw positioning guards, just do not have any data or fitting protocol to achieve this standard of care.

  2. pammi says:

    Heart disease is one of the most dangerous disease which takes thousands of life every years all over the world. If we know its symptoms and Treatment for heart disease. We can prevent is to large extent.

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