Tag Archives: awareness

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine to Host Ice Hockey Concussion Summit

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine will host “Ice Hockey Summit III: Action on Concussion” Sept. 28-29.

Physicians, scientists, athletic trainers, coaches, officials and retired pro players from the U.S. and Canada will discuss the science of concussion, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment and future research. The summit focuses on ice hockey, but concussion-related topics apply to all sports.

The sessions include:

  • “Which Hockey Players are at Greatest Risk and Why?
  • “Can Financial Concerns and Pending Litigation Reduce Concussions in Pro Hockey?”
  • “The Brain’s Response to Concussive Events: Updates on the Neurometabolic Cascade”
  • “Pharmacologic Interventions Available now and on the Horizon”
  • “Fish Oils, Supplements and their Neuroprotective Effects”

“Ultimately, we’re coming together to make the sport safer for our athletes,” says Michael Stuart, M.D., orthopedic surgeon and co-director, Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. “Athletes at all levels are bigger, stronger and faster. Therefore, we must improve our ability to diagnose, treat and prevent traumatic brain injury.”

As with the first two summits in 2010 and 2013, participants will develop recommendations to improve the safety of the sport. Panels featuring former hockey players, medical providers and experts with coaching, officiating and athletic training backgrounds will provide ideas for potential solutions.

Past recommendations helped foster rule changes, including penalties for all hits to the head, a delay in body checking until the 14-and-under level and the elimination of dangerous acts, such as checking from behind. After these rule changes, Minnesota Hockey/Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine data showed a significant decline in penalties related to checking from behind.

“To reduce concussions in hockey, we must change the mindset and behavior of players, coaches and fans,” says Aynsley Smith, Ph.D., sport and exercise psychologist and concussion investigator at Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine. “From a young age, athletes need to learn proper body control and stick play to shift the focus from checking to improving skills. We are making progress, but there is more to do.”

Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine is facilitating this conference with support from USA Hockey, International Ice Hockey Federation, Thorne Science, Hockey Equipment Certification Committee, American College of Sports Medicine, the Johansson-Gund Endowment, the Brian Mark Foundation and the Martineau Gift.

Members of the media who want to attend or interview participants should RSVP to the contact below by Thursday, Sept. 21.

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Bay Area High Schools Piloting Dignity Health Concussion Network With Planned Expansion Into Other California Regions

As local students return to school and start fall sports, Dignity Health’s Barrow Neurological Institute and the Dignity Health Foundation are expanding the Dignity Health Concussion Network, “a first of its kind student athlete-focused approach to concussion education and prevention.” The program first debuted in California in January with support from the San Francisco 49ers, the California Interscholastic Federation, and ImPACT, the maker of a widely-used computerized concussion management tool.

More than 1,400 student athletes from five pilot schools – George Washington High School in San Francisco, Overfelt High School in San Jose, Berkeley High School, Carlmont High School in Belmont, and Milpitas High School – will be participating in four defined modules from the Dignity Health Concussion Network. These modules include comprehensive concussion education, an assessment, and pre-and-post ImPACT concussion testing.

“Sometimes student athletes return to play too soon after a head injury,” said Jed York, CEO of the San Francisco 49ers. “We are proud to help bring this important program to our area so that young athletes, their families and their coaches are better educated on the importance of managing such injuries with the appropriate level of care. Through proper preventative measures and injury treatment our youth can enjoy healthy careers in sports for as long as they desire.”

More than 20 other Bay Area high schools will also begin to utilize the Barrow Brainbook, the web and app-based educational component of the Dignity Health Concussion Network. Barrow Brainbook was created by neurologists at the Dignity Health Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, a renowned neurological establishment that performs more brain surgeries annually than anywhere in the United States. The interactive tool, which is designed to feel like a social media site, takes high school athletes through a series of engaging educational activities and videos about concussions. The program will continue to expand to 200,000 Bay Area students by mid-2017.

“This program is necessary to help correct major misunderstandings that most of the population has about concussions,” said Dr. Jávier Cardenas, director of the Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center in Phoenix. “For example, many people believe that a head injury is only a concussion if there is a loss of consciousness, but 90 percent of concussions do not present with that symptom at all. This program empowers athletic directors and coaches to take an injured player out of the game and gives athletes the tools to speak up when something doesn’t feel quite right.”

In addition to the Barrow Brainbook education module, the full program piloted by the five Bay Area high schools will incorporate a formal exam, which students will need to pass before beginning a sport, as well as ImPACT cognitive testing. The first round of ImPACT testing occurs in advance of the sports season to understand an athlete’s baseline cognitive abilities. Should that athlete suffer from head trauma, athletic trainers, directors, and coaches certified by the Dignity Health Concussion Network will repeat the test and compare it to the baseline scores to better understand the severity of the injury. Should they have any immediate questions, these trainers will also have access to world-renowned neurologists via a telemedicine tool.

The Barrow Brainbook was first introduced in Arizona in 2011, making it the first mandatory education module for all high school athletes in the country.

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Concussions on the Rise for Adolescents, Researchers Say

Sustaining a concussion during adolescence may be more common than previous estimates, according to researchers presenting their study recently at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine’s (AOSSM) Annual Meeting in Colorado Springs, CO.

 “Our team looked at the administrative health records of more than 8.8 million members of a large private payer insurance group and noted that 32 percent of the individuals diagnosed with concussion were between file7841289514020the ages of 10-19 years old with the largest increase in incidence between 2007 and 2014 in that age group. This is the first study to evaluate trends in concussion diagnoses across the general US population in a variety of age groups,” said lead author, Alan L. Zhang, MD from the University of California San Francisco Medical Center.

The highest incidence of concussion was seen in the 15-19 age group (16.5 cases per 1,000 patients) followed by the 10-14 (10.5 per 1,000), 20-24 (5.2 per 1,000) and 5-9 (3.5 per 1,000) age groups. Overall, there was a 60% increase in concussion incidence from 2007-2014. The largest increases were in the 10-14 (143%) and 15-19 (87%) age groups. Fifty-six percent of concussions were diagnosed in the emergency room and 29% in a physician’s office with the remainder being seen in urgent care or inpatient settings.

Zhang and his team also noted that irrespective of sport, the incidence of concussion in male patients was one and a half times higher than that in female patients.

“The rates at which concussions are rising may in part be due to the rise in youth sports participation and also better diagnostic skills/training for coaches and sports medicine professionals. This trend is alarming however, and the youth population should definitely be prioritized for ongoing work in concussion diagnosis, education, treatment and prevention,” said Zhang.

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