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Youth sports concussion program points to need for proper treatment of concussion in children

WASHINGTON, DC Traumatic brain injury expert Gerard Gioia, PhD, Chief of Neuropsychology at Childrens National Medical Center and director of the Safe Concussion Outcome, Recovery and Education (SCORE) Program, has published a successful concussion management program for children based on his pioneering work in this area. The program is one of the first of its kind. Currently, most concussion management programs for youth sports lag behind collegiate and professional sports, despite the serious consequences of brain injury on a developing brain.

Dr. Gioias ten steps to a successful concussion management process are detailed in the latest edition of Brian Injury Professional (Vol. 4, Issue 4, pp14-15).

"Implementing an effective sports concussion management program is essential to safeguard young participants and reduce long term risks, writes Dr. Gioia. Management of this serious injury must consider the various effects in the home, school, social and sports environments.

The ten steps of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)/concussion management is a translation of the neurocognitive testing model currently used in professional athletes who have suffered from a mild TBI. This work, funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), uses computer-based testing and standardized parent/ teacher reports of the student athletes neurocognitive functioning to better guide recovery after a mild TBI.

Research into mild traumatic brain injury, and education about proper treatment of mild TBI, helps change the mindset among young athletes, parents, coaches, teachers, and physicians about the seriousness and long term effects of these injuries, and assists in defining more accurately when it is safe to return to the field and the classroom. Dr. Gioia is a primary author of the CDC tool kit that instructs physicians on proper diagnosis and management of concussions, also based on this research. The toolkit employs the Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE), developed by Dr. Gioia and his colleague, Dr. Micky Collins, to improve the physicians initial identification and treatment of mild TBI.


Contact: Janiene Torch
Children's National Medical Center

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