Brain Injuries in Sports

The Athletic Trainers’ Society of New Jersey (ATSNJ) released a Concussion Policy Survey which states that although New Jersey has implemented the Concussion Law, some schools are delaying in their compliance with the new regulations. The survey examined 110 high school athletic trainers throughout the state of New Jersey and states that while most districts have a board approved policy, others do not and those without blame the Law stating that it is difficult to interpret certain provisions.
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Sarah Burke, Canadian freestyle skier, four-time Winter X Games Gold Medalist and Olympic gold-medal contender, died yesterday at the age of 29 after complications from an accident at the Park City, Utah halfpipe January 10th. Burke was considered a pioneer in her sport as she successfully lobbied to add superpipe skiing to the Olympic Winter Games.
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A team of Canadian concussion specialists created an online concussion library full of information and resources for both the public and research and medical professionals. The Sport Concussion Library includes more than 2,300 peer-reviewed journal articles, 61 book chapters, entries on thesis research, concussion legislation on the federal, state and provincial levels, filmed documentaries, and a downloadable SCAT2 test, the standard sideline concussion assessment tool.
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A report conducted by ItsMyHealth.com states that researchers recently found that when soccer players “head” the ball, they tend to suffer the same side effects as those who have sustained a concussion. Additionally, if a player repeatedly “heads” the ball, this can result in a concussion like injury and impaired cognitive functioning.
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A new study reports that girls are 68% more likely to suffer a concussion during sports-related activity than boys. A study released by the Journal of Athletic Training showed that girls, during high school and college who played basketball or soccer, suffered significantly more concussions than their male counterparts. The report also stated that boys returned to play sooner than girls did after having suffered a concussion.
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Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) has been shown to prove the existence of brain damage which other techniques, such as MRIs, CT scans and x-rays were unable to detect. DTI has the ability to show microscopic damage to the pathways, which messages use when traveling inside the brain.
For the past 10 years, the National Football League and the US military have been using DTI technologies to detect brain injuries, most commonly, concussions.
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Thanks to support from Senator Robert Menendez and Congressman Bill Pascrell, both of New Jersey, the United States Center for Disease Control & Prevention will launch a new study into sports-related concussions and with those findings, will develop national guidelines for managing sports-related concussions in youth athletes.
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Over the past eight years, the number of emergency room visits by children suffering from brain injuries has increased by more than 60%. According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, this increased is believed to be a result of increased awareness of the severe effects associated with concussions and other brain injuries.
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