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Research based recommendations on management of sport related concussion: summary of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement
  1. K M Guskiewicz1,
  2. S L Bruce2,
  3. R C Cantu3,
  4. M S Ferrara4,
  5. J P Kelly5,
  6. M McCrea6,
  7. M Putukian7,
  8. T C Valovich McLeod8
  1. 1Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
  2. 2California State University of Pennsylvania, California, PA, USA
  3. 3Emerson Hospital, Concord, MA, USA and Neurological Sports Injury Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA, USA
  4. 4Exercise and Sport Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA
  5. 5University of Colorado School of Medicine, Denver, CO, USA
  6. 6Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Waukesha, WI, USA
  7. 7Princeton University, Princeton, NJ, USA
  8. 8Department of Sport Health Care, Arizona School of Health Sciences, Mesa, AZ, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Guskiewicz
 Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599-8700, USA; gus{at}email.unc.edu

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Sport related concussion should always be treated seriously and systematically

Sport related concussion has received considerable attention in both the lay media and medical literature in recent years. As a result, clinicians, coaches, parents, and athletes at all levels of competition are becoming educated about the necessity to treat concussions seriously. In time, this will help to create a safer playing environment for athletes at all levels of competition. Despite an array of complexities associated with studying sport related concussion, new scientific research and clinically based literature have provided sports medicine professions with a wealth of updated information on the treatment of sport related concussion.

For example, there is now sufficient literature supporting the notion that once you experience a concussion, you are more likely to sustain future concussions1,2; and a strong likelihood exists that the symptoms following these repeat concussions may be more serious and resolve at a slower rate.1,3 Several recent research papers and consensus statements indicate the necessity to use a systematic approach to evaluating the severity and duration of all possible signs and symptoms after a concussion, and to be cautious of not returning players to competition too quickly.4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16 Loss of consciousness and amnesia are two important parameters associated with cerebral concussion, but headaches, dizziness/balance deficits, concentration deficits, and feeling “slowed down” are more common.1,2,6,9,14,17–20 Extensive research has also been conducted on neuropsychological testing17,19–34 and postural stability testing,20,35–37 both of which are considered to be key markers for tracking recovery after cerebral concussion. Recent concussion publications on topics such as physician referral and home care,13,38 youth athletes,39,40 and protective equipment41

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