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U of A research leads to enhanced CFL concussion guidelines
Date:6/5/2013

Research from the University of Alberta shows CFL players are more likely to value medical tests after concussions compared to university-level players. But the professional athletes were more apt to incorrectly believe it's OK to return to the sport within 24 to 48 hours if they had no symptoms.

The study looked at how CFL athletes fared against their university-level peers when it came to concussion knowledge, and whether a one-hour concussion education program improved the two groups' knowledge. All of the CFL players realized the importance of seeking medical tests after a concussion vs. 67 per cent of university-level football players. On a different issue, 44 per cent of pro football players incorrectly thought it was safe to return to the sport one to two days post-concussion if they had no symptoms, while 26 per cent of their university peers believed this practice was safe.

"You can still be healing from a cognitive perspective even though you feel normal," says Dhiren Naidu, lead researcher from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, who worked with colleagues from the Faculty of Education on the projects.

"Research shows 85 to 90 per cent of adults recover from a concussion within 10 days. Athletes usually follow a paced 'return-to-play protocol' once they are no longer displaying any concussion symptoms. Just because athletes feel better one to two days after a concussion, that doesn't mean they're healthy enough to go back and start hitting or taking a hit again."

A total of 68 university athletes and 72 CFL athletes took part in this study, which involved answering a questionnaire before and after a one-hour concussion education session. Results showed most players knew how to manage concussions and what the hallmark symptoms were. And after the session, players were more apt to understand two key pieces of information: concussions can stem from blows to any part of the body, and MRI or CT imaging doesn't always detect concussions.
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Contact: Raquel Maurier
rmaurier@ualberta.ca
780-492-5986
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

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