concussions in sport

Topics: Concussion, Head injury, Diffuse axonal injury Pages: 6 (2028 words) Published: October 20, 2013

Resch, J., Driscoll A., McCaffrey N., Brown C., Ferrara MS., Macciocchi S., Baumgartner T., Walpert K., (2013). ImPact test retest reliability: reliably unreliable?, Jul-Aug 2013. Journal of Athletic Training 48(4) 506. This article reviews the reliability of the computer based concussion evaluation software known as ImPact. Utilizing the software for both baseline testing (prior to any known head trauma) and post injury at set times following injury, the software is evaluated for the reliability to test concussion symptoms and recovery.

McCrory, P., Meeuwisse, W., Johnston, K., Dvorak, J., Aubry, M., Molloy, M., & Cantu, R. (2009). Consensus statement on Concussion in Sport–the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2008. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 21(2). Following the third meeting of several sanctioning bodies in different sports, discussion of improvements for evaluation and return to activity guidelines are established. Among the sports represented are soccer, hockey and rugby. Much of the discussion is centered around the results of the previous recommendations gathered from those previous attempts to objectively measure concussion.

Riemann, B. L., & Guskiewicz, K. M. (2000). Effects of mild head injury on postural stability as measured through clinical balance testing. Journal of athletic training, 35(1), 19. The authors of this study show pretty compelling evidence that concussions can lead to temporary impairments in coordination of the body such as posture control. Though it may seem inconsequential, the implications can be far reaching in sports where the inability to protect oneself can lead to catastrophic injury.

Macciocchi, S. N., Barth, J. T., Littlefield, L., & Cantu, R. C. (2001). Multiple concussions and neuropsychological functioning in collegiate football players. Journal of Athletic Training, 36(3), 303. This study is comparing the differences between the effects of one concussion versus two concussions in football players. The study evaluates the neuropsychological processing of athletes after one or more concussions and finds that there is not much difference between one and two head injuries. Admitted limitations of the study are that neurobehavioral changes were not considered and on self evaluation most athletes reported these changes to be the most significant.

Covassin, T., Swanik, C. B., & Sachs, M. L. (2003). Sex differences and the incidence of concussions among collegiate athletes. Journal of athletic training, 38(3), 238. This study evaluates data submitted by NCAA schools on the incidence of concussion or mild traumatic brain injuries in several varsity sports. The two highest incidence sports for concussion; football an ice hockey are not evaluated likely due to these sports being male sports and may skew data when attempting to compare male and female sports. Results of this study show that female sports show higher rates of concussion when compared with their male counterparts, which the authors suggest may be due to weakness in the neck and upper body.

With the increased focus in the last decade on head injuries in sports and their potential long term consequences, it is a moral obligation to those that compete to learn as much as possible. With proper awareness of risk people engage in all sorts of dangerous behaviors and activities but only in sport are they doing it for the profits and entertainment of others. The decision we need to make as a collective society is whether we will accept the risks associated with our sports as they are, or if we will try to do better for our sons and daughters that will be the entertainers of the future. This leads us to our first ethical dilemma when discussing concussion in sports, which is whether athletes and their parents are truly aware of the risk associated with sports. Since we are only starting to scratch the surface of long-term data...

References: Resch, J., Driscoll A., McCaffrey N., Brown C., Ferrara MS., Macciocchi S., Baumgartner T., Walpert K., (2013).
ImPact test retest reliability: reliably unreliable?, Jul-Aug 2013. Journal of Athletic Training 48(4) 506.
McCrory, P., Meeuwisse, W., Johnston, K., Dvorak, J., Aubry, M., Molloy, M., & Cantu, R. (2009).
Consensus statement on Concussion in Sport–the 3rd International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2008. South African Journal of Sports Medicine, 21(2).
Riemann, B. L., & Guskiewicz, K. M. (2000).
Effects of mild head injury on postural stability as measured through clinical balance testing. Journal of athletic training, 35(1), 19.
Macciocchi, S. N., Barth, J. T., Littlefield, L., & Cantu, R. C. (2001).
Multiple concussions and neuropsychological functioning in collegiate football players. Journal of Athletic Training, 36(3), 303.
Covassin, T., Swanik, C. B., & Sachs, M. L. (2003).
Sex differences and the incidence of concussions among collegiate athletes. Journal of athletic training, 38(3), 238.
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