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AMSSM issues position statement on sport-related concussions
Date:1/7/2013

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The AMSSM position statement defines concussion as a "subset of mild traumatic brain injuryat the less severe end of the brain injury spectrum." The injury generally resolves completely with time. However, a growing body of research finds that concussion is followed by a period of increased vulnerability to repeat injury. Sustaining another concussion during this time has been linked to worse outcomes. In athletes and others with repeated concussions, irreversible damage may occur.

Up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions occur each year in the United States, half of which may go unreported. Risk is higher in certain sports and positions, in youth athletes, and in athletes with previous concussions. In sports with similar rules, female athletes may be at higher risk than males.

Prompt recognition is essential, and evaluation by a professional with appropriate training and experience is ideal. "Concussion remains a clinical diagnosis best made by a healthcare provider familiar with the athlete and knowledgeable in the recognition and evaluation of concussion," Dr Harmon and coauthors write.

'No Same Day Return to Play' after Concussion

The section on sideline evaluation specifies that any athlete with suspected concussion be removed from play and assessed by a health care professional trained in the evaluation and management of concussions. The AMSSM statement emphasizes, "There is no same day return to play for an athlete diagnosed with concussion."

Evidence for different types of tests and assessments in athletes with concussion is discussed; for many tests, further research is needed to validate their use. The statement supports the use of checklists for assessing concussion symptoms and tracking them over time. Computerized neuropsychological tests can be useful if performed by experts, but are not necessary for most athletes with concussions.

The section on concussion management
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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