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

July 14, 2014, Lancet

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: AAN: Doctors have ethical obligation to educate, protect athletes from concussion

Related Stories

AAN: Doctors have ethical obligation to educate, protect athletes from concussion

July 9, 2014
The American Academy of Neurology (AAN), the largest professional association of neurologists and a leading authority on sports concussion, is releasing a new position paper that states doctors have an ethical obligation ...

Recovery from sports-related concussion slower than believed

May 27, 2014
Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have shown that analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid after concussion can be used to determine the magnitude of brain injury and to follow its course. The studies show that recovery from ...

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.

In rats, diffuse brain damage can occur with no signs of 'concussion'

March 21, 2014
A standard experimental model of concussion in rats causes substantial brain damage—but no behavioral changes comparable to those seen in patients with concussion, reports a study in the April issue of Neurosurgery, official ...

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 ...

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.

Recommended for you

Research reveals atomic-level changes in ALS-linked protein

January 18, 2018
For the first time, researchers have described atom-by-atom changes in a family of proteins linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a group of brain disorders known as frontotemporal dementia and degenerative diseases ...

Fragile X finding shows normal neurons that interact poorly

January 18, 2018
Neurons in mice afflicted with the genetic defect that causes Fragile X syndrome (FXS) appear similar to those in healthy mice, but these neurons fail to interact normally, resulting in the long-known cognitive impairments, ...

How your brain remembers what you had for dinner last night

January 17, 2018
Confirming earlier computational models, researchers at University of California San Diego and UC San Diego School of Medicine, with colleagues in Arizona and Louisiana, report that episodic memories are encoded in the hippocampus ...

Recording a thought's fleeting trip through the brain

January 17, 2018
University of California, Berkeley neuroscientists have tracked the progress of a thought through the brain, showing clearly how the prefrontal cortex at the front of the brain coordinates activity to help us act in response ...

Midbrain 'start neurons' control whether we walk or run

January 17, 2018
Locomotion comprises the most fundamental movements we perform. It is a complex sequence from initiating the first step, to stopping when we reach our goal. At the same time, locomotion is executed at different speeds to ...

A 'touching sight': How babies' brains process touch builds foundations for learning

January 16, 2018
Touch is the first of the five senses to develop, yet scientists know far less about the baby's brain response to touch than to, say, the sight of mom's face, or the sound of her voice.

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.