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Tag Archives: Neurocognitive testing

Football concussions: Amid the fear, UGA research brings some hope

While most concussion research focuses on college and professional players or young children, a team of neuroscientists at the University of Georgia is tackling an often overlooked cohort of athletes.

The average Joes are middle-aged men who played football, but not in any kind of national spotlight. They suffered concussions during their glory days on the high school gridiron.

Each participant underwent an fMRI scan, which measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow within the brain. An image of the brain appears on the computer screen, and as the volunteer performs various mental tasks, different regions light up to different degrees, representing activity in those areas.

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Concussion dangers go beyond football, cross gender lines

The rate of concussions among U.S. high school athletes has more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, with numbers now as high as 300,000 per year, according to a study published this year in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

 

While 29 percent of those concussions happened in football, the danger of such head injuriestranscends into other sports. It crosses gender lines as well.

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Virginia Tech participates in NCAA initiative to limit concussions among college athletes, military personnel

Virginia Tech is participating in a new, landmark $30 million national effort sponsored by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the U.S. Department of Defense to combat concussions among college athletes and active service military personnel.

The NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense initiative funds the most comprehensive study of concussion and head impact exposure ever conducted. It will enroll an estimated 25,000 male and female NCAA student-athletes during a three-year study period. Virginia Tech will focus on athletes participating in various sports, including football, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, and women’s lacrosse.

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Recreation-related concussions on the rise in children

Children are getting more sports- and recreation-related concussions than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of concussions in children has risen 60 percent during the past decade. Each year, more than 173,000 children and adolescents are treated in emergency rooms for concussions and other traumatic brain injuries.

Concussions are traumatic injuries to the brain that occur after a blow to the head or body. The brain, made of soft tissue, shifts inside the skull, causing temporary changes in how the brain works. Most concussions last between seven and 10 days, but they can be serious and last longer.

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California law limits school football practices to cut concussions

Football practices at which middle- and high-school students tackle each other will be restricted in California under a law signed on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the latest U.S. effort to minimize brain injuries from the popular sport.

The measure, which limits practices with full-on tackling during the playing season and prohibits them during most of the off-season, comes amid growing concern nationwide over brain damage that can result from concussions among student as well as professional athletes. 

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Heading off danger: Concussions and teens

It’s a hot July afternoon, just before a thunderstorm. The Bonnette family is in the living room next to a fan, discussing schedules. 17-year-old Giuliana Bonnette plays the right side position for the varsity volleyball team at Dominion High School in Sterling. She is now recovered from two concussions she suffered in the spring.

“It started out as just a really bad headache, and a little bit of confusion,” Bonnette said.

These were Giuliana Bonnette’s symptoms after her first concussion 6 months ago. Her head slammed against the ground during volleyball tryouts. It was first diagnosed as whiplash.

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Concussions in football harder than ever to ignore

The days of jarring hits in football being brushed off as “dings” or “cleaning out the cobwebs” are long gone.

With growing concerns over sports-related concussions, prep football players, coaches and parents are urged to take every high-impact collision seriously.

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Doctors Have Ethical Duty to Protect Athletes from Concussions: Paper

Every year, there are up to 4 million sports-related concussions in America. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) released a new position papertoday outlining doctors’ ethical duties in protecting athletes from these injuries—and maintains that physicians’ obligation to keep patients safe sometimes trumps patient autonomy.

The paper, published in the online edition of the journal Neurology, coincides with the Sports Concussion Conference from July 11 to July 13, during which the academy will discuss advents in concussion diagnostics and treatments. The statement’s publication also comes several days after a federal judge issued preliminary approval of a settlement between theNational Football League and approximately 4,500 former players, who have claimed concussion-related injuries, including debilitating conditions such as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as well as early-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia, among others. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention figures cited by the academy, the vast majority of sports concussions are football-related.

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NCAA releases football hitting and concussion safety guidelines

The NCAA released Monday new guidelines for concussion safety, including limiting live contact football practices to two per week during the season.

The guidelines address contact at football practices, independent medical care for all athletes, and best practices to diagnose and manage concussions. The NCAA, which faces multiple concussion lawsuits, worked with the College Athletic Trainers’ Society, several medical organizations, multiple conferences and the American Football Coaches Association to create guidelines, not rules.

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Concussions From Football Practices — Not Just Games — Are Big Part Of Problem

 A lineman who plays in high school, college and the pros may retire with 10,0000 sub-concussive hits, none of which were diagnosed, none of which he is aware of. The aggregate of these hits produce brain damage much more severe than being knocked out three times.

Prominent neurologists and researchers like Robert Cantu, Julian Bailes, Kevin Guskiewicz, Kristen Willeumier and David Hovda report that three or more concussions may lead to exponentially higher rates of Alzheimer’s, ALS, dementia, chronic traumatic encephalopathy and depression. This is different from other injuries. Brain function provides memory, judgment, and personality — what it means to be a sentient human being. That is why we are forming a new foundation, “Athletes Speak,” with players advocating awareness and prevention.

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