Tag Archives: education

Better Educated Athletes Recover Quicker from Concussions

People with more years of education may be better able to recover from a traumatic brain injury, according to a study published in the April 23, 2014, online issue ofNeurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

The study examined people with moderate to severe traumatic brain injuries, most of which were from motor vehicle accidents or falls. All were taken to the emergency department and spent time in the hospital after the injury and also for inpatient rehabilitation.

“After these types of injuries, some people are disabled for life and are never able to go back to work, while other people who have similar injuries recover fully,” said study author Eric B. Schneider, PhD, of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “We understand some factors that lead to these differences, but we can’t explain all of the variation. These results may provide another piece of the puzzle.”

The cognitive reserve theory is that people with more education have a greater cognitive reserve, or the brain’s ability to maintain function in spite of damage. The concept has emerged for brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, where people with higher levels of education have been shown to have fewer symptoms of the disease than people with less education, even when they have the same amount of damage in the brain from the disease. But few studies have looked at how cognitive reserve may affect traumatic brain injury.

The study involved 769 people at least 23 years old and who had been followed for at least a year after their injury. Participants were grouped by education level. A total of 185 participants, or 24 percent, did not finish high school; 390, or 51 percent, had 12 to 15 years of education, or had finished high school and some post-secondary education; and 194, or 25 percent, had obtained at least an undergraduate degree, or had 16 or more years of education.

One year after the injury, 219 of the participants, or 28 percent, had no disability and were able to return to work or school. Only 23 people, or 10 percent, of those with no high school diploma were free of disability, compared to 136, or 31 percent of those with some college education and 76, or 39 percent, of those with a college degree.

“People with education equal to a college degree were more than seven times more likely to fully recover from their injury than people who did not finish high school,” Schneider said. “And people with some college education were nearly five times more likely to fully recover than those without enough education to earn a high school diploma. We need to learn more about how education helps to protect the brain and how it affects injury and resilience. Exploring these relationships will hopefully help us to identify ways to help people recover better from traumatic brain injury.”

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George Washington University to Start Concussion Law Class

The New York Times reported today that George Washington University’s law school will start what it described as “the first course devoted to the legal implications of traumatic brain injuries.”

A weekly seminar, the class will reportedly address brain injuries of all sorts, including those sustained in car accidents and in falls. “But the concussion crisis gripping the N.F.L. is what caught the law school’s attention,” according to the Times.

The class will be taught by Michael Kaplen, an experienced plaintiffs’ lawyer with expertise in the area.Michael Kaplen HEAD SHOT

“It’s a constant battle that really defaults every step of the way to the legal profession to handle on behalf of the millions of people who get injured,” Kaplen told his students last month, according to the paper. “The legal profession becomes, in one way or another, the champion because nobody else is there to do it. The lawyer has to become the doctor, has to become the social worker, has to become the neuroscientist and put that together for the individual.”

For the full story, visit: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/14/sports/football/concussion-cases-inspire-new-course-at-george-washington-law-school.html?emc=edit_th_20140414&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=19301719&_r=0

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Indiana Concussion Bill Breaks New Ground

Indiana Senator Travis Holdman has authored a bill that would require high school football coaches to take player safety and concussion training courses every two years, making it the first such state to make such a requirement, according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.

The bill would also parallel a law in Washington state, which requires football players to wait 24 hours before returning to play after a concussion, making it the eighth state to introduce that requirement..

Current Indiana High School Athletic Association protocol already requires that if an athlete is suspected of having a concussion, the athlete must see a physician,

“We’ve had that protocol for over two years – before concussion language was written,” IHSAA Commissioner Bobby Cox told the Business Journal, “I think the protocols, as long as they’re executed, they’re appropriate.”

Holdman, meanwhile, said he hopes to expand to the bill to include soccer programs in the future.

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