Post-concussion 'return to play' decision for footballers should be made solely by doctors, says new editorial

July 14, 2014

An editorial published today in The Lancet Neurology calls for sports authorities to take into consideration the long term neurological problems that repeated concussions can cause.

Cerebral concussion is the most common form of sports-related traumatic brain injury (TBI), and the long-term effects of repeated concussions may include dementia, , and other neurological disorders, say the .

However, what is perhaps more concerning, is that even when the symptoms of concussion are delayed, or if they come and go quickly, neurological damage can remain without detection. This can lead to footballers, such as Uruguayan defender Álvaro Pereira during the 2014 FIFA World Cup, overruling doctors' advice to be substituted and returning to play after sustaining a head injury.

The journal editors argue that the decision for players to return to a game after sustaining a concussion should be made only by healthcare professionals, and "should surely be taken out of the hands of those with a vested interest in the player's performance."

According to the journal editors, "Many sporting organisations now acknowledge the potentially serious consequences of mild TBI and have drawn up new protocols to protect athletes who sustain a head injury'. However FIFPro, the world players' union, has called for an investigation of concussion protocols and return-to-play standards following Pereira's injury"

Explore further: NIH, NFL team up to take on concussion research

Related Stories

NIH, NFL team up to take on concussion research

December 16, 2013

(HealthDay)—The U.S. National Institutes of Health is teaming up with the National Football League on research into the long-term effects of repeated head injuries and improving concussion diagnosis.

Teen concussions increase risk for depression

January 10, 2014

Teens with a history of concussions are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression as teens who have never had a concussion, finds a new study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

NATA: Recommendations issued for sport concussion management

March 17, 2014

(HealthDay)—Recommendations have been developed for management of sport-related concussion. The recommendations have been published online March 7 in the Journal of Athletic Training as a National Athletic Trainers' Association ...

Recommended for you

New mechanism discovered behind infant epilepsy

September 3, 2015

Scientists at Karolinska Institutet and Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden have discovered a new explanation for severe early infant epilepsy. Mutations in the gene encoding the protein KCC2 can cause the disease, hereby ...

Neuron responsible for alcoholism found

September 2, 2015

Scientists have pinpointed a population of neurons in the brain that influences whether one drink leads to two, which could ultimately lead to a cure for alcoholism and other addictions.

Deciphering the olfactory receptor code

August 31, 2015

In animals, numerous behaviors are governed by the olfactory perception of their surrounding world. Whether originating in the nose of a mammal or the antennas of an insect, perception results from the combined activation ...

Scientists see motor neurons 'walking' in real time

September 2, 2015

When you're taking a walk around the block, your body is mostly on autopilot—you don't have to consciously think about alternating which leg you step with or which muscles it takes to lift a foot and put it back down. That's ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.