[SportMed] MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: CONCUSSIONS: The Protocol for Sports Concussion Info Dissemination: Trust and Respect

 

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MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: CONCUSSIONS:

The Protocol for Sports Concussion Info Dissemination: Trust and Respect

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The Protocol for Sports Concussion Info Dissemination: Trust and Respect

My take, amidst researchers criticizing media

by Ryan Basen

MedPage Today

April 20, 2017

http://www.medpagetoday.com/Blogs/sports-clinic/64680

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Matthew Futterman’s piece in The Wall Street Journal Tuesday (subscription required) about sports concussion protocol is informative, well-reported and gripping; it features emerging research and diverse comment wrapped around the story of a teen football player’s death.

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But some researchers say this type of story is pushing kids off the field and onto the couch, and doing so without merit.

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“The media need to learn that individual stories, however tempting, are meaningless scientifically,” said Alan Carson, a neuropsychiatrist at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Speaking of soccer, he added: “In the U.K., every time somebody who was a famous footballer gets dementia, we get a news report that links it to football … It seemed to me this was a public health scare.”

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Such reporting feeds public sentiment that contact sports such as football and hockey cause concussion and neurodegenerative disease, and discourage kids from being physically active. So say researchers in three separate pieces published recently. They lament that coverage is skewed away from the sports’ health benefits, especially when evidence shows physical activity can improve public health.

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“Millions of kids played football for generations and we don’t see millions of kids walking into the neurologist at 40 years old saying they can’t find their keys,” said Steven Broglio, PhD, a University of Michigan brain injury researcher.

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“Even if we accept that contact sports increase the risk of neurodegenerative disease,” Carson said, calling that a dubious link, “there is no doubt at all that people who engage in active exercise live longer.”

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“I worry a whole generation of parents are pulling children off of sports because of misguided fear,” he added. “We need to be more realistic about just how limited this evidence is” regarding sports and brain injury. Indeed, a recent Harris Poll survey commissioned by the American Osteopathic Association showed one in six parents ruling out sports entirely because of concussion risks — while many underestimated the risk of non-contact sports such as gymnastics and cheerleading.

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The complete article may be read at the URL above.

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Sincerely,
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[SportMed] MEDICAL: CONDITIONS: CONCUSSIONS: The Protocol for Sports Concussion Info Dissemination: Trust and Respect

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