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Institute of Medicine and National Research Council Report – Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture

Despite growing awareness of sports-related concussions and campaigns to educate athletes, coaches, physicians, and parents of young athletes about concussion recognition and management, confusion and controversy persist in many areas.


The IOM and the National Research Council formed an expert committee to review the science of sports-related concussions in youth from elementary school through young adulthood, as well as in military personnel and their dependents. The committee’s report recommends actions that can be taken by a range of audiences – including research funding agencies, legislatures, state and school superintendents and athletic directors, military organizations, and equipment manufacturers, as well as youth who participate in sports and their parents – to improve what is knows about concussions and to reduce their occurrence.


The report finds that while some existing studies provide useful information, much remains unknown about the extent of concussions in youth; how to diagnose, manage, and prevent concussions; and the short- and long-term consequences of concussions as well as repetitive head impacts that do not result in concussion symptoms.

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Concussions in girls: Awareness hits home with female athletes

Jill Bertino has trouble with bright lights.

“I didn’t expect to look down at the paragraphs that I was supposed to read and the words would be all over the place,” said the Boyertown Area High School senior. “The Smartboards were too bright for me to look at.”

A stand-out senior soccer player and track star, Bertino suffered a concussion last spring during a club soccer game.

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Cheerleading most dangerous sport for females

Cheerleading is by far the most dangerous role for female athletes, yet girls who suffer concussions often don’t recognize that they’re injured, a new study found.

The study of junior and senior high-school cheerleaders found that 37 percent had symptoms of a concussion but failed to report them.

The research, published in the Journal of Pediatrics, noted a sharp increase of hospital emergency visits by cheerleaders, from 4,954 in 1980 to 26,786 in 2007.

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Youth sports organizations team up on concussions

Some of the nation’s largest youth sports organizations are forming an alliance to address concussions.

The National Sports Concussion Coalition will partner with concussion experts and athletic medicine professionals to establish best practices for diagnosing and treating young athletes.

Coalition members also will, among other things, share findings from their sport-specific concussion research, pool financial resources for joint studies and coordinate outreach programs to educate athletes and parents about concussions.

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The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) Completes 3 Year Fall Sports Concussion Survey

The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) has recently completed a 3 year (2010-2012) online Fall concussion survey involving secondary school Athletic Trainers (ATs). The goal of this study was to examine the incidence of concussions in fall athletics at secondary schools in the state of New Jersey. The 3 year study involved 86 High School Athletic Trainers participating each year; 80/86 schools reporting had football as a Fall sport. Throughout the course of the study there were 3,161 concussions reported (avg. 1053.67 reported concussions per year). According to the study, football had the highest reported incidence of concussions at 57% followed by girls soccer at 18% and boys soccer at 14%, Cheering 6%, Field Hockey 4% and Gymnastics 1%.

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Concussion dangers prompt care plan for Delaware’s young athletes

The impact of a concussion can stretch far beyond the  sports field. If not treated and managed correctly, patients can suffer debilitating, long-term effects.

That’s why Delaware health, sports and school officials are advancing a uniform action plan for documenting, managing and caring for young athletes who get a concussion while playing a sport.

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Kids with sports concussions visiting ER more often

The amount of children going to emergency medical facilities for concussion-like brain injuries is up, a new study says. But, while medical visits are one the rise, the severity of the injuries has decreased, likely because of better awareness.

The study says doctors at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center saw an increase of 92 percent between 2002 and 2011. The amount of children admitted to the hospital for additional care stayed around 10 percent.

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Study- Age does not Affect Post-Concussion Symptoms

Concussions often affect teenage and adult athletes. Due to the intensity of the type of sport, such as football, concussions might have to be dealt with during every game. Over the past few years, researchers have started to study in depth the effects of concussions on the victims’ brains. Some of these studies suggested the concussions lead to more symptoms for young athletes than older ones. In a new study, researchers found that that is not the case. In this study, the team reported that age does not affect the degree of post-concussion symptoms.

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Utah soccer and girls’ sports have high concussion rates

While much of the national focus in recent years on concussions in sports has centered on football, the numbers show it’s hardly the only sport with high rates of head injuries.

According to a study released by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, nearly 27 percent of all sports injuries during high school games in the 2012-2013 season were concussions. In comparison, concussions accounted for only 25 percent of football injuries.

“We see a lot in football because of the contact nature of the sport,” said Bart Thompson, Utah High School Athletics Association assistant director and sports medicine coordinator. “But other sports have a lot of them, too.”

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Sports concussions linked to substance abuse, suicidal thoughts: research

Concussions are connected with substance abuse and suicidal thoughts in adolescents, new research presented at a St. Michael’s Hospital conference on sports-related brain injuries revealed Saturday.

The hospital’s third annual concussion conference, now called the Heads Up Conference, explored the relatively new terrain of connecting mental health issues with concussions, which commonly occur from playing sports such as hockey, soccer and baseball.

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