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MONDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- The risks, diagnosis, and management of sports concussion have been reviewed in updated guidelines published online March 18 by the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) in Neurology.
Christopher C. Giza, M.D., from the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues reviewed all evidence published through June 2012 to update the AAN 1997 sports concussion guidelines.
The researchers report that concussion risk can be increased or decreased based on specific risk factors, including gender, type of sport, and protective equipment. Graded symptom checklists, the Standardized Assessment of Concussion, neuropsychological assessments, and the Balance Error Scoring System are diagnostic tools that can help identify concussion. Athletes with suspected concussion should immediately be removed from play to minimize the risk of further injury. Factors that can identify the risk of post-concussion impairment include ongoing clinical symptoms, concussion history, and younger age. The risk of recurrent concussion is increased with a history of multiple concussions, particularly within 10 days after the initial concussion. Concussion exposure and APOE ε4 genotype are risk factors for chronic neurobehavioral impairment. Insufficient data exist to demonstrate that any intervention enhances recovery or decreases long-term post-concussion sequelae.
"If in doubt, sit it out," a coauthor said in a statement. "Being seen by a trained professional is extremely important after a concussion. If headaches or other symptoms return with the start of exercise, stop the activity and consult a doctor. You only get one brain; treat it well."
Several authors have received funding for lectures on sports concussion from professional organizations and have given expert testimony relating to the study. One author disclosed ties to the medical technology industry.
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