Article Date: 08 Jul 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Creating a baseline for each youth athlete is a critical part of accurate future concussion assessment, according to researchers presenting their study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego. Differences in how females and males scored on a standardized concussion assessment tool were also investigated.
"Our research analyzed whether the new Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-2 (SCAT2) has any variability in data for youth athletes and whether gender makes a difference on the scores," said presenting researcher, Anikar Chhabra, MD, MS of The Orthopaedic Clinic Association in Phoenix, AZ. "Our results showed that otherwise healthy adolescent athletes do display some variability in results so establishing each player's own baseline before the season starts and then comparing it to test results following a concussion leads to more accurate diagnosis and treatment."
Chhabra and his colleagues from A.T. Still University tested 1,134 athletes who were participating on interscholastic athletic teams at 15 different high schools in the Phoenix area, as part of a funded research project by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE). There were 872 males and 262 females in the study with an average age of 15. The predominant male and female sports were football and volleyball, accordingly. A brief questionnaire regarding concussion history and the SCAT2 test was given to all participants.
Females scored significantly higher on the SCAT2 total score compared to the males. Athletes with a prior history of concussion also scored significantly lower on the SCAT2.
"This data provides the first insight into how the SCAT2 scores can be used and interpreted as a sideline concussion tool and as an initial baseline analysis. With concussions accounting for approximately nine percent of all high school athletic injuries, accurately utilizing assessments like these to quickly determine an athlete's return-to-play probability is critical to long term athletic and educational performance," said Chhabra. "
American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine
Article Date: 19 Aug 2011 - 1:00 PDT
"Recurring headaches are common during the year following a traumatic brain injury (TBI), regardless of the severity of the TBI, and they tend to occur more often among females and those with a pre-TBI history of headache, according to an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. The article is available free online at the link below.
More than 70% of patients who had suffered a TBI reported having headaches during the first year after their injury. This finding is a result of a multi-center study described by Jeanne Hoffman, PhD, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, and a group of colleagues from University of Washington, Craig Hospital (Denver, CO), Mayo Clinic (Rochester, MN), University of Alabama at Birmingham, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School (Dallas), Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond), and Moss Rehab (Philadelphia, PA).
Females and persons with a pre-injury history of headache were significantly more likely to report headache, but there was no statistical link between incidence of post-injury headache and the severity of the TBI."
Sources: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., Publishers, AlphaGalileo Foundation.
Article Date: 31 Jul 2011 - 0:00 PDT
If you suffer traumatic brain injury, your risk of having a stroke within three months may increase tenfold, according to a new study reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.
"It's reasonable to assume that cerebrovascular damage in the head caused by a traumatic brain injury can trigger either a hemorrhagic stroke [when a blood vessel bursts inside the brain] or an ischemic stroke [when an artery in the brain is blocked]," said Herng-Ching Lin, Ph.D., senior study author and professor at the School of Health Care Administration, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University in Taiwan. "However, until now, no research had been done showing a correlation between traumatic brain injury and stroke."
It is the first study that pinpoints traumatic brain injury as a potential risk factor for subsequent stroke.
Traumatic brain injury occurs when an external force such as a bump, blow or jolt to the head disrupts the normal function of the brain. Causes include falls, vehicle accidents, and violence.
In the United States alone, approximately 1 in 53 individuals sustain a traumatic brain injury each year, according to 2004 statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Worldwide, traumatic brain injuries are a major cause of physical impairment, social disruption and death.
Using records from a nationwide Taiwanese database, researchers investigated the risk of stroke in traumatic brain injury patients during a five-year period. The records included 23,199 adult traumatic brain injury patients who received ambulatory or hospital care between 2001 and 2003. The comparison group comprised 69,597 non-traumatic brain injury patients. The average age of all patients was 42 and 54 percent were male.
During the three months after injury, 2.91 percent of traumatic brain injury patients suffered a stroke compared with only 0.30 percent of those with non-traumatic brain injury - a tenfold difference.
Stroke risk in patients with traumatic brain injury decreased gradually over time, researchers said:
Stroke risk among traumatic brain injury patients with skull bone fractures was more pronounced than in traumatic brain injury patients without fractures, researchers said.
During the first three months, those with skull bone fractures were 20 times more likely to have a stroke than patients without skull bone fractures. The risk decreased over time.
Furthermore, the risk of subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain) and intracerebral hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain caused by the rupture of a blood vessel) increased significantly in patients with traumatic brain injury versus non-traumatic brain injury patients. . . " Read More
Bob Probert knew the fierce pounding he dished out and received over 16 seasons as an NHL enforcer was taking its toll as he got older. That's why he wanted his brain to be analyzed once he died. Even though heart failure ultimately ended his life last July at age 45, Probert also was living with a damaged brain. Researchers at Boston University said Thursday that Probert had the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The disease was found through analysis of brain tissue donated by Probert.
He is the second hockey player from the program at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy to be diagnosed with the disease after death. Reggie Fleming, a 1960s enforcer who played before helmets became mandatory, also had CTE.
CSTE is a collaboration between Boston University Medical School and the Sports Legacy Institute that is attempting to address what it calls the "concussion crisis" in sports. The group has been at the forefront of research into head trauma in sports, and has received a $1 million gift from the NFL, which it has pushed for better treatment of concussions.
The family of former Bears safety Dave Duerson agreed to donate his brain to the study after he committed suicide last month at the age of 50.
During his years as one of the most feared players in the NHL, Probert had 3,300 penalty minutes — fifth on the league's career list. He was the toughest and most prolific fighter of his time. Probert, who struggled to overcome drinking problems during his time in the NHL, played for the Detroit Red Wings from 1985-94 and the Chicago Blackhawks from 1995-2002.
"We are only beginning to appreciate the consequences of brain trauma in sports," said Chris Nowinski, the Sports Legacy Institute's co-founder and chief executive officer. "Early evidence indicates that the historical decision not to discourage contact to the head was an enormous mistake, and we hope aggressive changes continue to be made to protect athletes, especially at the youth level." Read More
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