November 13, 2012
Boston, Mass.—Sport-related concussion in child and adolescent athletes is a public health problem, with rising numbers of high-school athletes in the US diagnosed with the condition. Twenty-nine states now have legislation applicable to the condition in youth extracurricular activities.
Clinicians from Boston Children’s Hospital authored a series of review articles published Nov. 13 in the December 2012 edition of Current Opinion in Pediatrics to help assess the most up to date information on sport-related concussion.
Edited by Robert Tasker, MD, of the Brain Injury Center at Boston Children’s, and Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD, neurologist-in-chief at Boston Children’s, the series covers basic science to evidence-based management, to long-term complications associated with the condition.
Together, the articles make a strong argument for adopting a new culture in our approach to youth sports. Pediatricians, parents, and their child or adolescent athlete each have clinical roles to play in sport-related concussion.
In a cover editorial, Tasker and Pomeroy note that our understanding of concussion’s effects has a long way to go. Articles from Boston Children’s experts also include:
Epidemiology, trends, assessment and management of sport-related concussion in United States high schools
Rejean Guerriero, Mark Proctor, Rebekah Mannixand William Meehan III (Boston Children’s Hospital)
This review documents the rising number of high school athletes with sport-related concussions. Football has the highest number of concussions in high school; girls’ soccer has the second highest. Coaches are starting to implement return-to-play guidelines.
Neuropsychological evaluation and management of sport-related concussion
Alex Taylor (Boston Children’s Hospital)
Neuropsychological testing shows that concussion affects attention, concentration, speed of information processing and memory. Dr. Taylor discusses the role of testing in determining readiness for sports and school, and looks at differences by age.
Subacute concussion-related symptoms and postconcussion syndrome in pediatrics
Heidi Blume and Karameh Hawash (University of Washington and Boston Children’s Hospital)
Some children develop a disabling “postconcussion syndrome” that lasts for weeks or months after injury (headache, poor balance, light and sound sensitivity, sleep dysregulation, cognitive deficits, emotional disturbance). This review looks at treatment options and discusses how the injury, pre-existing risk factors and psychosocial issues can interact to cause symptoms.
Boston Children's Hospital is home to the world’s largest research enterprise based at a pediatric medical center, where its discoveries have benefited both children and adults since 1869. More than 1,100 scientists, including nine members of the National Academy of Sciences, 11 members of the Institute of Medicine and nine members of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute comprise Boston Children’s research community. Founded as a 20-bed hospital for children, Boston Children’s today is a 395 bed comprehensive center for pediatric and adolescent health care grounded in the values of excellence in patient care and sensitivity to the complex needs and diversity of children and families. Boston Children’s also is a teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School. For more information about research and clinical innovation at Boston Children’s, visit: http://vectorblog.org/.