Doctor Suggests Concussions in College Football Aren’t Increasing, Awareness Is

Robert Armstrong D.O., a Pennsylvania doctor who specializes in sports medicine, has gone public with his belief that a recent report overstated a conclusion that concussions are on the increase in college football.

The report in question compared the number of reported concussions from the 2010 NCAA football season against the number from the 2011 season, and found that the rate almost doubled within the span of a single season.

Specifically, the number of reported concussions was 23 during the 2010 season, out of more than 40,000 athlete exposures. In 2011, the rate was found to be 42 concussions, coming from roughly 36,000 athlete exposures.

The report acknowledged, however, there may be some debate as to whether the number of concussions is increasing, or the ability to identify and report concussions is improving. Armstrong extrapolated on that point. “I do not necessarily believe that more concussions are actually happening, but we certainly are recognizing them earlier and picking up on subtler types of injuries than we did in the past,” he said. “This hopefully will lead to better care and fewer poor long-term outcomes with these serious injuries.”

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