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The latest research, discoveries and treatments from the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children's Hospital. 

Soccer player's severe concussion spotlights need for increased injury awareness

Wicked Local West Bridgewater tells the story of a high school soccer player who suffered a debilitating concussion on the field and struggled to return to her everyday life. Boston Children’s Lyle Micheli, MD, explains that a combination of factors, including shifts in participation in organized sports and increased awareness of head injuries, has influenced how concussions are diagnosed and treated.

6 Things Everyone Should Know about Concussions

Scientific American Mind (subscription required) reports on concussions – focusing on the facts and some new ideas on how to treat them. Boston Children’s Bill Meehan, MD, explains that if you are experiencing symptoms of a concussion there are some easy first steps you can take: Pull yourself out of risk so you don’t hit your head again, see a medical professional and be sure to listen to what they have to see, following their guidance.

How will NFL improve concussion problem over the next 50 years?

Sports Illustrated reports that if football is going to exist in 50 years, we are going to need to solve the problem of brain trauma. Boston Children’s Hospital’s Bill Meehan, MD, provides his expertise on concussions and explain that better enforcement of rules is a necessary step in the right direction.

Zero tolerance for improper, illegal tackling in youth football: AAP

AAP News reports on a new football tackling statement from Boston Children’s William Meehan, MD, and colleagues. The new AAP policy statement Tackling in Youth Football addresses concussion and head and neck injury concerns and provides guidance to pediatricians and parents based on the information available from relevant studies. Tech Times, NYC Today, MedPage Today and Huffington Post also report on the statement.

Concussion: Evolving Science, Evolving Practice

Medicine’s understanding of concussion has evolved substantially over the past few decades. It is now clearly identified as a true brain injury, and injuries previously identified as minor are now recognized to have major impacts—short- and long-term.

Among the lessons learned is that the existing grading scales for concussion are not useful. Instead, a new special report from the Boston Children’s Hospital Brain Injury Center recommends individual management based on the patient’s age and multiple other factors affecting outcome. The complimentary report covers management, neurocognitive testing, treatment options and experimental data from animal models of concussion. 

Sports Concussion in Children: Time to Take Notice

A series of review articles edited by Robert Tasker, MD, of the Brain Injury Center and Neurologist-in-Chief Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD, sound an alarm about sports-related pediatric concussion and offer practical guidance.

The reviews, comprising the November 12, 2012 edition of Current Opinion in Pediatrics, cover concussion epidemiology, neuropsychological evaluation, symptom management, postconcussion syndrome, field studies of head impacts and MRI brain findings. 

 Other news

  • Kid head injuries up: School sports-related hits at 14,000
    Boston Herald reports despite stepped-up efforts to curb the risk of brain trauma among student athletes, Bay State schools reported a staggering nearly 14,000 sports-related head injuries in the 2013-2014 academic year, according to state public health data. Boston Children’s Hospital’s Michael O’Brien, MD, director of the sports concussion clinic was interviewed for the article.

  • The Cape Cod Times reports that Boston Children’s Michelle Parker, RN, participated in a concussion forum at Forestdale School. She spoke to school nurses, athletics trainers and pediatricians about the symptoms and treatment of concussions.

  • The Los Angeles Times reports on new research from Boston Children’s William Meehan, MD, and colleagues that finds kids who give their brains a few days rest and gradually return to normal mental activity after a concussion heal faster than those who rush back to their books, computers and TVs. Huffington Post and WHEC (Rochester, NY) also report on the research.

  • Boston Children's Sports Concussion Clinic director William Meehan, MD, delivered a lecture, "Clinical Diagnosis and Treatment of Sports-Related Concussion," at the 2011 "Brain Trauma and the Athlete" conference on October 28. The conference was presented by the Boston University School of Medicine and the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, in conjunction with the Brain Injury Association of Massachusetts and the Sports Legacy Institute.

  • William Meehan, MD, director of Boston Children's Sports Concussion Clinic, spoke about his book, Kids, Sports and Concussion, as part of Mayor Thomas Menino's ReadBoston celebrity author series on September 19, 2011.

  • Brain Injury Center director Mark Proctor, MD, hosted a live webcast, "Tackling Concussions Head-On", on September 12, 2011. The program—which also featured several other Children's experts—covered a range of topics, including why concussions are difficult to diagnose, the importance of neurocognitive testing and how to take preventive measures. You can now view the webcast on demand.

  • Mark Proctor, MD, director of the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children's and chair of the ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation, was awarded a Presidential Citation from the Michigan State Medical Societ in July 2011.

  • Lise Nigrovic, MD, MPH, of Boston Children's   Division of Emergency Medicine, co-led a major multi-center study that yielded a key revelation: implementing a brief period of observation after a child's head injury can cut down on the number of unnecessary CT scans by as much as 50 percent—without compromising care. 

  • Research co-led by Boston Children's neurologist Alexander Rotenberg, MD, PhD, has uncovered a link between head trauma in military veterans and the onset of epilepsy

  • Boston Children's has been named National Lead Center for the Prevention of Pediatric Acquired Brain Injury (PABI) and the Massachusetts Lead Center for PABI by the Sarah Jane Brain Project (SJBP), a national organization focused on the prevention and treatment of acquired brain injury in children. Learn more.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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