Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Worry About All Blows To The Head

Date:
July 25, 2008
Source:
Washington University in St. Louis
Summary:
Sports-related concussions in young athletes frequently go unrecognized, and often do not receive proper respect for the potential seriousness that even a mild injury may have, according to a pediatric sports medicine specialist. With more high-profile athletes describing their postconcussive symptoms, awareness is at an all-time high. An explosion in research about concussions in the past five years has increased understanding of how serious concussions may be.

Sports-related concussions in young athletes frequently go unrecognized, and often do not receive proper respect for the potential seriousness that even a mild injury may have, says Mark Halstead, M.D., an instructor of orthopaedic surgery and of pediatrics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and a pediatric sports medicine specialist at St. Louis Children's Hospital.

With more high-profile athletes describing their postconcussive symptoms, awareness is at an all-time high. An explosion in research about concussions in the past five years has increased understanding of how serious concussions may be.

“There is a common misconception that an athlete only has a concussion if he or she loses consciousness,” says Halstead. “In fact, most athletes may only suffer from a mild headache or feeling confused or foggy. Concussions may even occur without impact, from the head being shaken.”

Common symptoms of a concussion include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Changes to the vision such as blurry vision or double vision
  • Upset stomach or vomiting
  • Feeling tired
  • Moodiness
  • Confusion
  • Loss of memory of events before and after the concussion

It is important for coaches, parents and athletes to recognize the symptoms of a concussion because athletes may only have one symptom, Halstead says. No athlete should be returned to play while still experiencing symptoms of a concussion.

“One reason not to return a player to the field while symptomatic is the possibility of second-impact syndrome,” explains Halstead. “This condition has only been observed in younger athletes. If an athlete has a second impact to the head, while still recovering from the effects of a first concussion, there is potential for massive brain swelling, which can lead to death. There is controversy as to whether this syndrome actually exists because it is rare. However, it certainly can be prevented by not returning an athlete to an event prematurely.”

Recent research has demonstrated that athletes who have what are commonly considered mild concussions, or "dings," may no longer experience headaches or other symptoms of concussions but still show significant deficits in processing information. This can last up to seven days postconcussion. As a result, several computerized neuropsychological testing programs have been developed to help assess for these deficits rapidly through a CT scan or MRI brain imaging.

Halstead said a newer concept in treating concussions is concussion rehabilitation. This involves a gradual approach to bringing the athlete back to the playing field.

“Since concussions are an injury to the brain, the biggest difficulty athletes have after a concussion is in processing information,” he says. “It may be helpful to have the athlete avoid mentally challenging activities during his or her rehabilitation, which may even include a brief break from classes and school work. Once an athlete is symptom-free, he or she can progress through increasingly heavy exertion to ensure he or she does not experience a return of symptoms.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington University in St. Louis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Washington University in St. Louis. "Worry About All Blows To The Head." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190514.htm>.
Washington University in St. Louis. (2008, July 25). Worry About All Blows To The Head. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190514.htm
Washington University in St. Louis. "Worry About All Blows To The Head." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080723190514.htm (accessed September 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

How 'Yes Means Yes' Defines Sexual Assault

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Aimed at reducing sexual assaults on college campuses, California has adopted a new law changing the standard of consent for sexual activity. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Scientists May Have Found An Early Sign Of Pancreatic Cancer

Newsy (Sep. 29, 2014) Researchers looked at 1,500 blood samples and determined people who developed pancreatic cancer had more branched chain amino acids. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

Colo. Doctors See Cluster of Enterovirus Cases

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

Dr.'s Unsure of Cause of Fast-Spreading Virus

AP (Sep. 29, 2014) Doctors at the Children's Hospital of Colorado say they have treated over 4,000 children with serious respiratory illnesses since August. Nine of the patients have shown distinct neurological symptoms, including limb weakness. (Sept. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins