RECENT ARTICLES
  • Major League Lacrosse Pilots New Concussion Strategies

    by Emily Attwood April 2013

    As lacrosse has increased in popularity among both male and female participants in recent years, so have the number of brain injuries attributable to the sport. Lacrosse ranks third in diagnosed concussions among high school female athletes, according to the Florida Hospital Sports Concussion Program, and only hockey and football have higher concussion rates than men's lacrosse. To address the issue, Major League Lacrosse has teamed up with Boston-based brain trauma research organization Sports Legacy Group to develop and implement a comprehensive concussion plan for the 2013 season.

  • Smartphones Newest Tool in Concussion Testing

    by Emily Attwood April 2013

    The latest advancements in technology have opened another door for advancements in concussion diagnostics, as well. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed a software program that can turn a tablet or smartphone into an on-the-spot concussion diagnostic tool simply by analyzing the speech patterns of the person suspected of having a concussion.
    "This project is a great example of how mobile computing and sensing technologies can transform healthcare," says Christian Poellabauer, an associate professor of computer science and engineering who was part of the team that developed the software. "More important, because almost 90 percent of concussions go unrecognized, this technology offers tremendous potential to reduce the impact of concussive and sub-concussive hits to the head."

    The program still requires baseline testing, though less rigorous and involved than testing that uses MRI or CT scan imaging. Athletes record a voice sample before a game using a smartphone or tablet equipped with the software program. Should a brain injury be suspected, the player is asked to repeat a selection of words that the software analyzes for signs of brain trauma, which could include distorted vowels, hyper nasality or imprecise consonants.

  • More States Adopt Heat Management, Acclimatization Policies

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor March 2013

    Snow may still be on the ground in some parts of the country, but at least two northern states have adopted heat-management policies for high school student-athletes during the past week.

  • Blog: 'New' Concussion Guidelines?

    by Emily Attwood March 2013

    The American Academy of Neurology released an updated set of concussion guidelines this week, calling for athletes to be removed from play if a concussion is suspected and not be allowed to return until cleared by a medical professional.

  • Update: NFL Passes Controversial Rule on Helmet Hits

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor March 2013

    The biggest news to come out of the National Football League's annual owners' meetings this week in Phoenix was the decision to ban ball carriers and defenders from delivering forcible blows with the crown of their helmets in the open field - a significant step toward making the game safer.

  • Sports Injury Expert Dawn Comstock Talks Concussion Prevention

    by Paul Steinbach March 2013

    There are few better brains to pick on the subject of prep sports injuries than the one residing in Dawn Comstock's head. Eight years ago, the injury epidemiologist joined the faculty at Ohio State University and established as her first major research initiative the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System - an NFHS-endorsed online tool that hundreds of certified athletic trainers across the country use weekly to report injury exposure and incidents, logging up to 300 distinct variables for each injury in the process.

  • Md. Bill Sparks Conversation About Lacrosse Safety

    by Emily Attwood March 2013

    While a Maryland bill requiring girls' lacrosse players to wear headgear was met with an outcry of opposition from the lacrosse community and quickly withdrawn, its authors say it has served its purpose. As participation in girls' lacrosse has increased, so have concerns about player safety, most notably, the risk of concussion. (Currently, helmets and facemasks are mandated in men's lacrosse, while helmets are banned in women's lacrosse for all but goalkeepers.) Delegates Dana Stein and Jon Cardin say that the proposed bill "accomplished an important goal of pushing the conversation to include vital safety concerns and is a win-win for parents and youth athletes."

  • National Action Plan Unveiled to Protect Student-Athletes

    by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor February 2013

    The Youth Sports Safety Alliance, composed of more than 100 organizations committed to raising awareness, advancing legislation and improving medical care for young athletes, launched the first-ever "National Action Plan for Sports Safety" on Wednesday.

  • Group Calls for End to Full-Contact Hits in Football Offseason

    by Emily Attwood February 2013

    The Sports Legacy Institute held a press conference in advance of Sunday's Super Bowl to announce a new initiative calling for all state high school athletic associations to ban full-contact practices and games during the offseason. Current and former NFL players, including Ravens center Matt Birk, Titans quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and Chiefs Eric Winston were also present to show their support for the proposed ban.

  • Virginia Tech Concussion Study Expands Beyond Football

    by Emily Attwood January 2013

    Since 2003, researchers at the Virginia Tech - Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences have been compiling impact data from college football players using sensor-embedded helmets, resulting in a rating system for commercially developed football helmets. In 2011, the study was expanded to include helmets, with the intent of establishing safety ratings by 2016, as well as updating the existing ratings for football helmets.