concussionThe American Academy of Neurology has released a new position paper that states doctors have an ethical obligation to educate and protect athletes from sports concussion and only give an athlete the “all-clear” to play when medically ready.

Concussions are common in high-speed contact sports, with Australian Rules football, rugby, hockey and soccer posing the greatest risk.

The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the largest professional association of neurologists in the world and the leading trusted authority in managing sports concussion, have resisted opposition from players, parents and coaches and published the position statement in their online medical journal, Neurology.

The statement was released in conjunction with  The Sports Concussion Conference which took place on July 11-13, 2014, in Chicago, IL, where up-to-date scientific developments in the diagnosis and treatment of sports concussion were presented. Doctors Tegeler and Lee co-presented data on outcomes associated with use of HIRREM (Brainwave Optimization) by a series of athletes with persisting post-concussion symptoms

According to the AAN, concussion is a form of brain injury, which can happen when the head:

  • Hits an object, or a moving object strikes the head
  • Experiences a sudden force without being hit directly.

In the US, there are 1.6-3.8 million concussions annually that occur as a result of injury from sport. Currently, concussions account for nearly 9% of all US high school sports injuries. In most cases, concussion results in full recovery, yet some can cause more severe damage.

Brain Injury Australia has been unable to identify any national surveys of concussion incidence for Australia, whether in sport specifically or across all causes. There were around 3,000 hospitalisations for concussion from sport during 2004-2005. However hospitalisations radically underestimate the incidence of concussion in the community: as few as one in every four people who experience concussion will seek medical attention,and then only if their symptoms persist. The number of unreported concussions in sport may be as many as 10 times the number disclosed to team doctors annually.

The only established treatment for concussion is physical, and cognitive, rest. While “the majority (80-90%) of concussions resolve in a short (7-10 day) period”, physical, psychological, behavioural and cognitive symptoms – including headache, dizziness, irritability, anxiety, depression, aggression, mood swings, anger, impaired attention, concentration and memory – may persist for the minority. Now preliminary results of studies by Charles H. Tegeler, M.D., Professor of Neurology from the Wake Forrest Medical Research Centre suggest a reduction in persisting symptoms following sports concussion, or other types of traumatic brain injury, can be attained with use of Brainwave Optimization. Researchers have been funded to expand clinical studies into the use of this noninvasive, drugless therapy in a controlled clinical research trial for athletes who have had a concussion and suffer from persistent post-concussion symptoms.

High-school football player who used Brainwave Optimization to recover from the affects of a concussion.