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Concussions and Their Impact on Black Youth

A lack of resources is at the heart of a disproportionate impact that concussions are having on school districts largely populated by African-American students, according to some experts in the field.

Basing their opinion on a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which showed a dramatic increase in the number of visits to the emergency room, the experts theorized that the aforementioned school districts can’t afford concussion monitoring tools.

Dr. Vernon Williams, neurologist and medical director of the Sports Concussion Institute, noted in an article that appeared in the New Pittsburgh Courier that the ImPACT Concussion Management program, for example, costs a minimum of $400 per year for 100 baseline tests and 15 post-injury tests for one school, an expensive proposition for some school districts.9157759616_c3c7e23799_q

“We have coaches who understand the need, but they have different resources. For example, we know baseline testing for people in contact collision sports can help evaluate when people get injured,” Williams said. “But it’s uncommon for people to have access to state-of-the-art baseline testing. Players, school systems, and parents don’t have access to those funds. But we can still implement treatment using creative measures.”

Dr. Gary Harris, associate provost for Research and Graduate Studies at Howard University, is reportedly working with engineering students and the Bison football team to devise an inexpensive concussion monitoring system, using an open source platform. This might provide a more cost-effective solution for such districts

The article can be viewed at http://newpittsburghcourieronline.com/2014/07/08/concussions-a-greater-problem-for-black-youth/

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