Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that occur in sports, car accidents and falls. Unlike severe brain injuries that are accompanied by bleeding in the brain, concussions cannot be viewed using MRI or CT scans. Because it is extremely difficult to diagnose a potential concussion, this makes getting a pre-performance baseline check-up vital to an athlete’s wellbeing.
In the United States there are between 1.6 and 3.8 million sports-related concussions each year.
Studies have shown that athlete who have suffered even a single concussion can have an increased risk of ACL tears, ankle injuries, loss of concentration, declining grades and early onset of Alzheimer’s. Even more frightening is the fact that 18 high school athletes died from second concussion syndrome in 2016.
Concussion baseline testing has historically been done through a rigorous computer test that only focused on memory and cognitive function. This has proven to be an inadequate method of diagnosis. In addition, new studies have shown that the strain these tests place on the traumatized brain can cause a relapse in healing.
Thankfully a new, FDA approved technology has been developed that is more sensitive, individualized and safer to pre-screen athletes for concussions. This new technology has been implemented in several Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC athletic programs and exceeds all AMA guidelines for concussion testing and return to play protocols.
Dr. Herlihy would be happy to come and talk to your staff, coaches and parents about how this new approach can protect your student athletes and help them avoid becoming a statistic.