Extensive Study on Concussions in Youth Sports Finds ‘Culture of Resistance’ for Self-Reporting Injury; Not Enough Evidence to Support Claim That Helmets Reduce Concussion Risk

WASHINGTON — Young athletes in the U.S. face a “culture of resistance” to reporting when they might have a concussion and to complying with treatment plans, which could endanger their well-being, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council. The report provides a broad examination of concussions in a variety of youth sports with athletes aged 5 to 21. Overall, reported concussions rates are more frequent among high school athletes than college athletes in some sports — including football, men’s lacrosse and soccer, and baseball; higher for competition than practice (except for cheerleading); and highest in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer, and women’s basketball. Concussion rates also appear higher for youths with a history of prior concussions and among female athletes.  See full press release

Big Ten, The Ivy League Host Head Injury Summit

Big Ten-Ivy League Head Injury Summit: Agenda | List of Attendees

PARK RIDGE, Ill. — The Big Ten Conference and The Ivy League, in conjunction with the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC), hosted the Big Ten-Ivy League Head Injury Summit on July 18-19 in Park Ridge, Ill. A total of 65 individuals from 23 institutions, representing each member institution from the Big Ten, Ivy League and CIC, participated in the two-day event in an effort to engage in collaborative discussions and to refine the strategic priorities of the historic, unprecedented research initiative that was announced by the conferences in June 2012. The summit provided an open forum for the subject-matter experts in attendance to review the current clinical and research efforts that exist on each campus, and allowed the group to define the short- and long-term areas of emphasis to address.        Read more

Baseline neurocognitive scores in athletes with attention deficit spectrum disorders and/or learning disability.

Reviewed by Erin Almklov, PhD
The article titled “Baseline neurocognitive scores in athletes with attention deficit spectrum disorders and/or learning disability” is a retrospective study that aimed to examine baseline neurocognitive differences between athletes with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and/or learning disability (LD) versus those with neither disorder and to establish normative data for these populations.  Read more

A Wearable Alert to Head Injuries in Sports

HARD knocks to the head are a constant concern in contact sports — and not just in football or boxing, where recent attention has focused. Millions of girls and boys play hockey, soccer, lacrosse and other sports where blows to the head from collisions and falls are part of the game, even in youth leagues and on high school teams.

Head injuries can come from a single jarring impact during a game, or from a series of smaller jolts. But in the midst of play, many blows aren’t necessarily easy to spot by coaches, physicians or parents in attendance.

A crop of new lightweight devices that athletes can wear on the field may help people on sidelines keep better track of hits to players’ heads during games and practice sessions. The devices, packed with sensors and microprocessors, register a blow to a player’s skull and immediately signal the news by blinking brightly, or by sending a wireless alert.     Read more

Concussion Symptom Inventory: An Empirically Derived Scale for Monitoring Resolution of Symptoms Following Sport-Related Concussion

Citation:  Randolph, C., Millis S., Barr, W. B., McCrea, M., Guskiewicz, K. M., Hammeke, T. A., & Kelly, J. P. (2009). Concussion Symptom Inventory: An Empirically Derived Scale for Monitoring Resolution of Symptoms Following Sport-Related Concussion. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 24, 219-229.

Review by Matt Holcomb, PhD

The present article is based on the combination of the data derived from 3 case-controlled studies which used the Concussion Symptom Inventory (CSI).  The aim was to identify which inventory items were more relevant in detecting and tracking sport-related concussions.  As the authors point out, the literature on concussions is filled with empirically derived controlled outcome studies, which has led to confusion on best practices in classifying concussions and determining return-to-play.  This study resulted in an empirically derived CSI.   Twelve items were found to adequately discriminate concussed from non-concussed, resulting in a much more brief inventory (from 20-27 items).  This study is an important step in formalizing standards and practices for evaluating concussions.  As with most scale development the study lacks independent verification, and further development of cut-off scores which could aid the process of concussion identification.  Read more

Alteration of Brain Default Network in Subacute Phase of Injury in Concussed Individuals: Resting-State fMRI Study

Reviews by Brad Tyson, PHD

This article looks at resting-state fMRI to evaluate the default mode network in two groups of participants: 15 neurologically normal collegiate athletes with no history of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and 14 collegiate who recently suffered a sports-related mTBI. Scanning in the mTBI group took place within 24 hours of clinical symptoms resolution and medical clearance for the first stage of aerobic activity by their supervising physician, which was 10 (+/-2) days post-injury on average. A third group of nine collegiate athletes with multiple mTBIs that were not scanned within 24 hours of symptom resolution, but nonetheless scanned in 10 (+/-4) days post-injury on average, were included in an exploratory regression analysis. Results demonstrated a higher than average connection strength in the controls when compared to the mTBI group and a downward trend in the number of connections as the number of mTBIs increased. Read more

TGen and Riddell Announce Partnership for Biomarker Study of Concussive Injuries

TGen and Riddell Announce Partnership for Biomarker Study of Concussive Injuries

Riddell’s Sideline Response System to provide real-time head impact data on athletes, combined with TGen’s molecular clues from players with concussions to unlock keys to monitoring of head injury

Head protection plays a vital role in the health and safety of any athlete participating in helmeted sports. In a move that could help revolutionize football player safety, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), and Easton-Bell Sports through its Riddell brand, announced today they would work together on a study designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment. Information gathered through the study will also be used to develop new football headgear and further refine updates to player monitoring technology.  Read more