Understanding Concussions - One Year Later

July 11, 2017

About a year ago, after being inspired by the passing of the Bill for Rowan’s Law in Ontario, we started on a journey in establishing the Sport Concussion Research Center at our 4 clinics.  The modest goal was to collect data and evaluate factors that could help us better explain the condition.  We funded it privately through our own resources, from the sale of my parenting book and from a generous donation from Dr. Robert Thatcher who donated his extensive EEG software to our cause.  If you haven’t picked up the book yet, you can get it here to support our cause:  https://www.amazon.ca/Dont-Wimp-Raise-Strong-Leader/dp/0968427502/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1499522704&sr=8-1

 

While we aren’t able to make cause-effect statements, here is what we are learning after 12 months of work:

 

  1. Lifestyle needs to be considered when evaluating the long-term implications of head to head contact in sports including diet, cardiovascular exercise and alcohol or substance abuse.

 

  1. Starting rehabilitation as soon as 24 hours after injury is needed with proper support and safety considerations in mind.

 

  1. The longer one waits after a concussion for treatment, the poorer the outcome.

 

  1. Having no symptoms does not mean the brain is healed.

 

  1. Dr. Thatcher’s new technologies and software can analyze the EEG to assist in return to play decisions.  Without that information and until studies can refute this, I fully support the 3 month sit out after the 1st, 12 month sit out after the 2nd concussion, and up to 2 years to sit out after the 3rd , if return to play is considered at all.  We simply don’t know enough, so being conservative, especially with children, should be the rule.

 

  1. The woodpecker factor.  There is something about the shape or size or genetic composition of the skull that may make some more resistant to concussion after a blow to the head.  Again, we don’t know enough yet, but are looking at this.  (woodpeckers have sponge in their little skulls that protect their brain from the force of constant deceleration injury). https://www.livescience.com/19586-woodpecker-skull-concussions.html

 

  1. Too much alcohol immediately after injury and during rehabilitation and later is not a good thing for neural recovery.

 

  1. Cardio bursts appear to have a repair and prevention role in concussion treatment.

 

There is more as we move forward.  You can read some of our articles located at the store at www.drsvec.com.  Any funds we receive go right back into our work.  As always, your comments and thoughts are appreciated.  Until we speak again, be safe.

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