White House Conference on Concussion

White HouseConcussion is no longer considered a “ding” to the head.  With today’s concussion conference at the White House preventing, recognizing and treating concussion takes on more importance as a national public health issue. Concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain caused by traumatic biomechanical forces. Sport- and recreation-related concussions are conservatively estimated at 1.6 to 3.8 million cases each year in the United States alone.  The wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan have had the distinction of producing the greatest number and percent of mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs; concussion) that have ever been documented in a major war owing to roadside explosions.

Whether occurring from sports collisions or bombings, concussion can result in both short-term and long-term impairment of neurological function and the possibility of significant neuropathological changes referred to as CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy).  A smaller percentage of cases can exhibit signs and symptoms referred to as post-concussive syndrome (PCS), which may be prolonged or permanent.

In the early 1990s, along with neuropsychologist Dr Mark Lovell we developed ImPACT.  ImPACT is a 20-minute computer based test that has become a standard tool used in the comprehensive clinical management of concussions for athletes of all ages.  ImPACT testing for concussion management allows individualized assessment at baseline, before the sport or combat, and comparison of post-injury neurocognitive testing results with the baseline testing. This type of concussion assessment can provide objective data of the concussed individual’s post-injury condition and track recovery for safe return to play, thus preventing the cumulative effects of concussion. Neurocognitive testing is now considered the ‘‘cornerstone’’ of proper concussion management by an international panel of sports medicine experts.

ImPACT is the most widely used computer-based testing program in the world. It is the standard for concussion testing for the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), most professional and collegiate teams in the United States, and over 3000 high schools. ImPACT can be administered by an athletic trainer, school nurse, athletic director, team coach, team doctor, or anyone trained to administer baseline testing.

Learn more at www.impacttest.com

Obama, Congress aim to tackle sports-related concussions


Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates-UPMC
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