Concussion awareness is finally in the forefront. Research has come a long way over the last decade to develop protocols for returning athletes to participation following a concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI). Current events continue to drive public awareness especially with professional sports. As of this week, doctors diagnosed NFL Hall of Famer, Tony Dorsett, with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), an unfortunate condition resulting from the cummalative effects of head trauma.
Although research is still in its infancy for head trauma, return-to-play guidelines are becoming established which requries a team of sports medicine specialists for effective deicison making. Until recently, guidelines were only focused on athletes returning to sport. Physicians were previously suggesting that student-athletes may want to stay home from school; however, guidelines were never established. Current guidelines were recently established by Dr. Karen McAvoy, Psy.D. and colleagues suggesting that concussed athletes should not return to school until they can tolerate more than 30 minutes of light mental activity.
With advancing research focused on conservative treatment including holding student-athletes from returning to school, hopefully CTE will reduce in prevalance for future generations.