A new study out of the Ohio State University and published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine found “concussion rates in the US High‑School athletes more than doubled between 2005 and 2012."  During this time period, the researchers, led by Joseph Rosenthal, M.D. a clinical assistant professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the Ohio State University looked at 4024 concussions suffered by athletes in nine sports. Click here to read the full story.

While some may find these statistics alarming, it is much more likely that this increase demonstrates to some extent a recognition of the seriousness of concussion and the need for appropriate care.  In its press release, Dr. Rosenthal was quoted as saying “our theory is that more people are looking for concussions, and athletes, parents, and coaches are being educated on the symptoms and importance of removal from participation, as well as treatment.  There is a greater emphasis on monitoring for injury.” 

Recent articles, also published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine give some support to that view.  Two papers out of Harbor View Injury Prevention and Research Center in Seattle, Washington looked at the implementation of concussion legislation and extent of concussion education for athletes, parents, and coaches.  There, the researchers conducted a survey in 2012 and 2013 on a random sample of public high school football, girls’ soccer, and boys’ soccer coaches in Washington State, stratified by urban and rural locality.  The survey was constructed to cover the extent of concussion education for coaches, athletes, and parents as well as coaches’ concussion knowledge and experience. 

According to the abstract, “three years after the passage of a concussion law in Washington State, high school football and soccer coaches are receiving substantial concussion education and have good concussion knowledge.  Concussion education for athletes and parents is more limited.  Football players receive more extensive concussion education than do soccer players." To read more, click here.

In a second study, these researchers concluded, “more objective and accurate methods are needed to identify concussions.  Changes in athlete attitudes on reporting concussive symptoms will likely not be accomplished through legislation alone.” To read more, click here.