New Concussion Guidelines Released
The American Academy of Neurology released a report on Monday, March 19, 2013 stating that it had revised its guidelines for handling concussions to emphasize treating athletes case by case rather than according to a predetermined scale.
“We’ve moved away from the concussion grading systems we first established in 1997 and are now recommending that concussion and return to play be assessed in each athlete individually,” said Christopher C. Giza, a doctor at the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital at U.C.L.A. and one of the lead authors of the new guidelines. “There is no set timeline for safe return to play.”
Concussions, Giza and other authors of the report said, are clinical diagnoses. “Symptom checklists, the Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC), neuropsychological testing (paper-and-pencil and computerized) and the Balance Error Scoring System may be helpful tools in diagnosing and managing concussions but should not be used alone for making a diagnosis.”
They also reported that there are more than a million sports-related concussions annually in the US, and that the risk of concussion was greatest in football and rugby, followed by hockey and soccer. For young women and girls, the risk was greatest in soccer and basketball.
Signs and symptoms of a concussion are complex and variable, and any athlete suspected of having a concussion should be thoroughly evaluated by a qualified medical professional. The AAN guidelines recommend that athletes suspected of having a concussion should be immediately removed from play.
“If in doubt, sit it out,” said Dr. Jeffrey S. Kutcher, a physician at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor and a member of the academy. “You only get one brain; treat it well.”
Posted on Sun, April 14, 2013
by Neuro Rehab- Kathy Manning, M.S.CCC-SLP filed under