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Neurology academy updates guideline on concussions

March 20, 2013

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Minneapolis – Athletes suspected of having a concussion should be immediately removed from game action, according to an updated guideline from the American Academy of Neurology.

Based on a review of concussion research from 1995 to 2012, AAN recommended that athletes remain out of play until they have been evaluated by a licensed health care professional with training in concussions, and all symptoms – which may include headache, light sensitively and changes in balance – are gone. Return to play should be gradual – particularly for high school and younger athletes, who take longer to recover than college athletes.

Other findings include:

  • Concussions are most prevalent in football, rugby, hockey and soccer.
  • Athletes with a history of concussions are at greater risk for sustaining another one.
  • No conclusive evidence suggests that specific types of helmets offer better protection. Helmets should fit properly and be well maintained.

The guideline was published online March 18 in the journal Neurology.

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