Escalating trend in sports concussions

Escalating trend in documented concussions due to improvements in the detection and clinical management of concussion says the NCAA. Concussion rates in football had been escalating over a 21-year period beginning in the early 1980s. But the trend stabilized in recent years, becoming relatively flat from 2004-12. NCAA Director of Health and Safety David Klossner said the reasons for the previous escalating trend are not well documented but could be due to multiple factors, including improvements in the detection and clinical management of concussion. Read the full article.

CT scans at the ER may triple the risk of leukemia in children.

New research indicates that CT scans pose potential cancer risks to children. The study was funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the U.K. Department of Health, was published online in the Lancet today. CT scans pose potential cancer risks from associated ionizing radiation, especially if he or she had a previous scan.

Researchers said the use of CT scans in children to deliver cumulative doses of about 50 mGy might almost triple the risk of leukemia, and doses of about 60 mGy might triple the risk of brain cancer. Because these cancers are relatively rare, the cumulative absolute risks are small: In the 10 years after the first scan for patients younger than age 10, one excess case of leukemia and one excess case of brain tumor per 10,000 head CT scans is estimated to occur. Clinical benefits should outweigh the small absolute risks, but radiation doses from CT scans ought to be kept as low as possible, and alternative procedures that do not involve ionizing radiation should be considered.

For information about certified baseline concussion testing for young athletes contact us at Concussion Management of New York. At: baseline@cmofny.com

Read the publication by Lancet and more details about the study.

The use of general anti-inflammatory drugs will not serve as a “magic bullet” for this silent epidemic.

There is no “magic bullet” when it comes to treating concussions with anti-inflammatory medication. Medications are not the first line of treatment for concussions. Even though a good option when complications expected or in the case of protracted recovery, not all cases respond well and like with any other injury, every patient responds differently. Rather, it seems that a tailored array of pro- and anti-inflammatory compounds given at particular temporal intervals will likely be implemented given the complexity of the inflammatory response to concussion. Treatments will likely differ based on severity of brain injury, age of the patient, and previous history of brain injury. Read the full article published on Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. Understanding the neuroinflammatory response following concussion to develop treatment strategies