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IOM Releases Report on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth


Despite growing awareness of sports-related concussions and campaigns to educate athletes, coaches, physicians, and parents of young athletes about concussion recognition and management, confusion and controversy persist in many areas.

The Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies and the National Research Council formed an expert committee to review the science of sports-related concussions in youth from elementary school through young adulthood, as well as in military personnel and their dependents. Among the committee members was Arthur C. Maerlender, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and director of the Pediatric Neuropsychological Service at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Dr. Maerlender is on the board of governors of the Academy of Brain Injury Specialists (ACBIS) for the Brain Injury Association of America. He also serves as the chair of the New Hampshire Advisory Council for Sports Concussion and is a board member of the Brain Injury Association of New Hampshire.

The report finds that while some existing studies provide useful information, much remains unknown about the extent of concussions in youth; how to diagnose, manage, and prevent concussions; and the short- and long-term consequences of concussions as well as repetitive head impacts that do not result in concussion symptoms. 

The report recommends actions that can be taken by a range of audiences, including: research funding agencies, legislatures, state and school superintendents and athletic directors, military organizations, and equipment manufacturers, as well as youth who participate in sports and their parents. These actions are designed to improve what is known about concussions and to reduce their occurrence.

To view the contents of the report, click here.

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