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Heads up on concussion in para sport
  1. Nick Webborn1,2,
  2. Cheri A Blauwet1,3,
  3. Wayne Derman1,4,5,
  4. Guzel Idrisova1,6,
  5. Jan Lexell1,7,
  6. Jaap Stomphorst1,8,
  7. Yetsa A Tuakli-Wosornu1,3,
  8. James Kissick1,9
  1. 1 Medical Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Bonn, Germany
  2. 2 Centre for Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine (SESAME), School of Sport and Service Management, University of Brighton, East Sussex, UK
  3. 3 Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4 Institute for Sport and Exercise Medicine, Division of Orthopaedics, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  5. 5 IOC Research Centre, London, UK
  6. 6 Lesgaft National State University of Physical Education, Sport and Health, St. Petersburg, Russia
  7. 7 Department of Health Sciences, Rehabilitation Medicine Research Group, Lund University, Lund, Sweden
  8. 8 Sports Medicine Department, Isala Klinieken, Zwolle, The Netherlands
  9. 9 Department of Family Medicine, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Nick Webborn, Centre for Sport and Exercise Science and Medicine (SESAME), University of Brighton, The Welkin, Carlisle Road, Eastbourne BN20 7NS, UK; nickwebborn{at}

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Concussions to high-profile professional athletes and the $1 billion court settlement between the NFL in the USA and thousands of former NFL players have brought sports concussion to the top of news headlines.1 The crux of the NFL case centred around retired players’ allegation that the NFL did not warn them about the potential long-term health impact of concussions. Cases such as these alert sport governing bodies to the medicolegal importance of this issue and their responsibility for player safety. For the Para athlete, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) term for a sportsperson with an impairment, the concussion debate struggles to garner attention. This is partly because funding for epidemiological research in this area is limited. But athletes with a variety of impairments due to a range of medical issues face the risks and consequences of concussive brain injury in Para sports: it is time for paralympic medical and sporting communities to address this important issue.

Recommendations from the International Conferences on Concussion in Sport mandate that all potential cases of concussion undergo medical assessment, including a comprehensive history and detailed neurological …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.