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Entries in Concussions (17)

Thursday
Jan312013

No Device Eliminates Concussion Risk, Experts Say

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- As the long-term consequences of concussions become more clear, a cottage industry has popped up to sell athletes and worried parents products designed to mitigate risks of concussions that even helmets cannot prevent.

Despite the bold claims of some companies, however, many experts say the Holy Grail in contact sports -- a device that prevents concussions -- simply does not exist.  Indeed, experts say, there is no proof that any current device significantly reduces the risk of concussions beyond the protections already provided by helmets.

ABC's Nightline found several products for sale online that aim to reduce the risk of concussions or even alert parents and coaches when a kid has supposedly taken a concussion-level hit.  The claims the manufacturers make are often breathtakingly reassuring.

Concern about the risk of concussion is mounting at every level of the gridiron from the NFL to colleges and even high schools.  Concussions are the most common injury among high school football players.

Jennifer Branin, whose son Tyler Branin is one of the stars of the Woodbridge Warriors high school football team in Irvine, Calif., said "it was scary" the first time he had a concussion.

"He had lost his balance on the field," she said.  "He got up and tried to continue, but couldn't keep his balance."

She said the effects of the concussion lingered, causing Tyler to miss a week of school and football practice.  Even months later, he complained of difficulty concentrating in class.

So Jennifer decided to do something.  She raised money to buy the team helmet inserts by Unequal Technologies for added protection.

Unequal Technologies, one of the highest profile players in this new market, described its product explicitly on the box as "Concussion Reduction Technology," or "CRT."  It is a strip of composite material including bullet-proof Kevlar that is designed to stick inside the helmet as a liner to the existing helmet pads.

Unequal Technologies uses its material in products ranging from padded sleeves to shin guards.  The company counts NFL players and X-Games athletes among its fans.

On board as paid spokesmen are Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and James Harrison, a linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  Harrison is one of the hardest-hitting guys in the NFL and said he uses Unequal Technology's liners in his helmet.

"I don't know what it's made of but it works," Harrison says in one of Unequal's promotional videos.  "I really don't feel like I'm taking a risk."

Vick wasn't wearing the CRT product when he suffered a season-ending concussion in November, but he has since promised that he will be wearing it when he returns to the field next season.

Rob Vito, founder and CEO of the Kennett Square, Pa.-based company, said he worked with scientists to create a military-grade composite material that can help protect athletes from all kinds of injuries from head to toe.

Unequal Technologies' product tests were conducted at the Southern Impact Research Center in Rockford, Tenn., one of the nation's leading testing labs for sports equipment.  Engineer Dave Halstead, the lab's technical director, said it's important to understand that helmets have come a long way in keeping players safe from a certain kind of head injury, the kind caused by direct, linear force.

But when asked if there was a device or an add-on currently on the market that can fully protect players' from the risk of head injury, Halstead said "absolutely not."

"That magic bullet, that if you just do this you can continue to play the way you are and you're immune from injury, it just doesn't work," he said.  "There is no such device."

The modern helmet already offers excellent protection against direct hits, which produce sharp, linear forces against the skull.  But many doctors believe sports-induced concussions are caused by shearing, rotational forces, which occur when the head snaps back and swerves around on the neck, slamming the brain against the inside of the skull.

There is no proof that products like Unequal Technologies' strips protect against those injuries -- the ones suspected of frequently causing concussions.

Halstead's testing did show that the Unequal strips can reduce the severity of a linear, direct impact from some angles, but not from others.  But even Vito acknowledged he cannot prove those results reduce the risk of concussions.

"No, we can't make that claim at this point, it's too early on," he said.

But Vito said his company only claims to "help reduce the possibility of head injury," adding, "We never mention the word 'concussion,'" although the product's name is "Concussion Reduction Technology."

"There might be some confusion," Vito acknowledged, maintaining that his company is not claiming its product reduce concussions, saying, "One is a name and one is a claim and our claim is that we help reduce the possibility of head injury."

After the ABC News interview, Unequal Technologies sent Nightline what it said would be the new packaging for its product, which says just "CRT" now.  The words "Concussion Reduction Technology" have been removed.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Drew Brees Teams Up Against Concussions in School Sports

Grant Halverson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Drew Brees, the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, has taken some pretty hard hits in his career and knows the dangers involved with playing football professionally.

That’s why he’s lent his name to the PACE program -- Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education -- to make the sport safer.  The PACE campaign teams with ImPACT, a widely-used computerized concussion evaluation system.  All the NFL teams and many NHL teams use this technology.

PACE is a program that provides free concussion testing for more than 3,300 middle and high schools and youth sports organizations nationwide.  Their ultimate goal is to have one million kids tested this year, making it the largest concussion baseline program ever.

According to research published in May’s issue of the journal Neurology, a football player could sustain 8,000 hits over the course of a four-year high school and a four-year college career.

Baseline tests are important, doctors say, because they show what can’t be seen -- cognitive function.  Baseline testing, together with a preseason evaluation, help keep concussions to a minimum, and reduce their effects when they happen.

PACE is the first national program of its kind to offer the ImPACT baseline tests.  The program was started by the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation.

Starting June 26, parents, athletes, coaches, teachers and anyone who wants to sign their school up can log onto dickssportinggoods.com/PACE to receive the free testing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun152012

NFL, Military Partner to Reduce Concussions

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- They are known as the invisible injuries. They may not result in bruises, breaks, or even loss of limbs, but the results of concussions can be disastrous, leading to severe brain trauma as well as psychological and neurological disorders.

Concussions are injuries that the NFL knows too well. Six out of 10 NFL athletes have suffered concussions and nearly one-third reported having three or more, according to a 2000 study conducted by the American Academy of Neurology. In a more recent study, conducted in 2007 by the University of North Carolina's Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, 20 percent of the retired athletes who recalled having three or more concussions suffered from depression.

But while the consequences are pervasive, the problem is not unique to athletes. For General Raymond T. Odierno, chief of staff for the U.S. Army, concussions are often looked at as lesser injuries and are rarely discussed among his soldiers.

"We have to make them [the soldiers] understand that you have to come forward because it has to be treated," Odierno said.

For this reason, he and the United Service Organizations Inc. (USO) have partnered with the NFL to try and eradicate the stigma associated with head injuries. He met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last month to discuss how a future campaign will play out.

As a former football player himself at West Point, Odierno says there are more similarities than differences between a soldier and an athlete and believes that the partnership will assist in changing attitudes about head injuries.

"There's a lot of things similar to sports and the army: the teamwork, not letting your buddies down, not letting your teammates down, not letting your infantry squad mates down. ... I think part of it is the stigma of not letting your fellow player down or not letting your fellow squad member down," he said.

There have been nearly 230,000 reports of traumatic brain injuries among the soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, according to military figures. Head injuries have been linked to post-traumatic stress disorder in soldiers and a study done earlier this year found links between head injuries and a degenerative brain disorder known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

While the military puts its troops through rigorous tests before, during and after deployment, it is hoping to pool resources with the NFL to better its technology, improve its marketing, and expand its medical information.

Since Odierno and Goodell's meeting, a group of players, coaches, analysts, and doctors have met at the Pentagon. The first session included Pittsburgh safety Ryan Clark, Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald, and ESPN analyst Merrill Hoge. A meeting Friday sat players down with members of the Army and Marines.

Odierno expects for the formal campaign to be launched later this summer.

And while details of practical effectiveness have yet to be seen, Odierno hopes that the shared experiences of the servicemen and women and the athletes can spur collective change.

"I think that if they see somebody they know," he said, whether personally or know him from playing football willing to come forward, willing to say, 'I have a problem,' maybe it will make it easier for him to say he has a problem," he said.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun082012

Novel Brain Scan Can Detect Concussions

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A novel imaging technique may cut the lengthy process -- a physical exam and a battery of tests -- to determine whether a patient is suffering from a concussion down to a single scan, a new study suggests.

This technology, known as diffuse tensor imaging (DFI), may help detect concussions after a traumatic brain injury, since approaches like computed tomography (CT) scans and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) fail to demonstrate evidence of brain abnormalities.

The study, published Friday in the journal Brain Imaging and Behavior, is particularly relevant at a time when more than 2,000 former NFL players have filed a lawsuit asserting that the league has deliberately withheld from its players the link between concussions and its long-term impacts on the brain.

Researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York compared 34 patients who sustained concussions with 30 healthy controls, looking for abnormalities across the entire brain of individual patients.  What they found was striking: The diffuse tensor imaging demonstrated unique abnormalities in each individual who had a concussion -- abnormalities that would also be present in the more than one million Americans who sustain a concussion each year.

"The way patients manifest certain symptoms is extremely variable," said Dr. Michael Lipton, the study's lead author.  "There are lots of differences in symptoms and deficits from concussions that patients have, such as cognitive impairment, anxiety, and headache."

Using the novel approach to imaging, physicians could confirm the unique, telltale signs of a concussion right away.

While the data showing that diffuse tensor imaging can distinguish unique brain abnormalities has been previously reported, the researchers took their study one step further and found that a new way of looking at the information from these scans -- an approach known as functional anisotropy, or FA for short -- can reveal whether the brain may have swelling.

Intriguingly, in a separate group of patients included in the study, people with concussions still had evidence of brain injury over one year after their head injury.

"The unique thing about this study is that there are brain abnormalities [still present] at multiple time points," said Dr. Jeff Bazarian, an associate professor of neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Rochester in Rochester, N.Y.  "This highlights that the brain is abnormal on a cellular level for a long time."

Concussions occur mainly from motor vehicle accidents and falls, but can also appear after non-traumatic injuries such as whiplash.  More than 300,000 adults and children are affected by sports-related concussions each year.

Although most people who have a concussion have no lasting effects, as many as 30 percent of people suffer from permanent brain damage, resulting in personality changes and memory impairment.  In extreme circumstances, concussions, and their long-term repercussions, have been implicated in contributing to the suicides of prominent former NFL players like Junior Seau and Dave Duerson.

The problem is that no effective treatments, other than supportive therapy such as cognitive rehabilitation, currently exist for concussions.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Junior Seau: Safety Debate Continues as Family Delays Brain Donation

Ronald C. Modra/Sports Imagery/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The family of Junior Seau, the NFL football star who died last week, is now reconsidering donating his brain to science, backing off their decision last week to let his brain be examined for signs of traumatic injury.

"The Seau family is currently revisiting several important family decisions and placing them on hold in order to confer with their elders," said Pastor Shawn Mitchell, the longtime San Diego Chargers' chaplain, in a statement. The Seaus are of Samoan descent, and elders are the most respected and highly regarded in a Samoan family. They are often consulted when making family decisions. It is unclear when the family now plans to make its final decision regarding the brain donation.

Seau, 43, who played for the Chargers as well as the Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots, was found dead last Wednesday at his home in Oceanside, Calif., apparently from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Medical examiners ruled his death a suicide.

On Thursday evening, the family said they hoped that the brain donation would help others "down the road."

Seau's death has sent shockwaves through the sports and science worlds, but experts have cautioned that it is too early to determine whether Seau's suicide was linked to potential concussions he likely experienced during his 20-year NFL career.

Jacopo Annese, director of the University of California at San Diego's Brain Observatory, said there has not been a definitive link shown between blows to the head and such disorders as depression, dementia and Alzheimer's, but he did say there is strong scientific and anecdotal evidence.

While research methodology has not changed dramatically, the questions have evolved, offering clues into the potential lifetime adverse effects of hits and concussions.

"Like searching for the link between traumatic injury and more subtle and insidious effects like depression, suicide, and dementia," said Annese. "This has been particularly crucial in the world of sports where unprecedented body mass and acceleration create the scenario for severe trauma if there is a collision."

The death of Seau, a 12-time Pro Bowl player, came only one day before more than 100 former NFL players filed a federal lawsuit in Atlanta, claiming the league did not properly protect them against concussions and did not provide proper medical care after they finished their careers.

Seau's death bears a resemblance to that of other athletes in hard-hitting sports, including Chicago Bears football player Dave Duerson. Duerson shot himself in the chest in February of last year. Duerson's family filed a wrongful death suit against the NFL, saying the league did not protect against concussions. Several former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years, and many experts believe the deaths could be related to repeated blows to the head. In addition to Duerson, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters took their own lives. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative and progressive disease found in people who have experienced multiple blows to the head, has shown up in the brains of several former athletes who committed suicide, including Duerson.

CTE has similar brain features to those of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease.

As of October, more than 500 current and former professional athletes agreed to donate their brains to the VA Brain Bank, which works in affiliation with the Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. Annese said the Brain Observatory at UCSD has been in contact with several athletes who are considering participating in the brain donation program.

"Like Mr. Seau, they feel that they personally hold many of the answers needed to know how to make their sport safer for future generations," said Annese. "The examination of the brain is only the final and definitive chapter of a long narrative that we create working with our participants."

The average life expectancy of a retired football player is 58, according to the NFL Players Association. That is far less than the average American man's life expectancy of 75 years, according to government data from 2006. Repeated blows to the head may disturb neurotransmitters that affect mood, and may also damage parts of the brain that have to do with impulse control and the ability to weigh the long-term consequences of decisions.

But until more research has been done, experts caution against definitively linking the hits Seau took on the field and his suicide.

In 2009, the NFL instituted new rules that require clearance from independent neurologists to allow players who suffered concussions to return to the field. The league also imposed stricter guidelines to reduce the number of helmet-to-helmet hits.

"What happened to Junior Seau is terribly sad," said Annese. "The least us scientists can do is to match his dedication to his sport and his community with our own dedication to research, finding the reasons for such tragedy, so that it does not have to happen again."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May032012

Junior Seau's Death: Is There a Brain Injury Link? 

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The circumstances coming to light about the death of former NFL linebacker Junior Seau may highlight what some doctors see as a growing link between head trauma, mental illness and suicide, a connection that has come to the forefront of sports safety research in the last decade.

Seau was found dead from a gunshot wound to the chest at his home in Oceanside, Calif., Wednesday morning.

If Seau did indeed commit suicide, his death would bear a resemblance to that of other athletes in hard-hitting sports, including Chicago Bears football player Dave Duerson. Duerson shot himself in the chest in February of last year.

Seau played in the NFL for 20 years for the San Diego Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. On Wednesday, Chargers Chaplain Shawn Mitchell told ABC News that Seau died of a "self-inflicted gunshot wound to the chest this morning." Seau was 43 and leaves behind three children and an ex-wife, Gina Deboer.

The Chargers released a statement to ABC News' San Diego affiliate: "Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family."

The case may be similar to that of Duerson, who left a note requesting his brain be sent to the "NFL brain bank" for study.

Several former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years, and many experts believe the deaths could be related to repeated blows to the head. In addition to Duerson, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters took their own lives. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative and progressive disease found in people who have experienced multiple blows to the head, has shown up in the brains of several former athletes who committed suicide, including Duerson's.

CTE has similar brain features to that of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Last May, Dr. Ann McKee, co-director of Boston University's Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, a research center that studied Duerson's brain after his death, told reporters that Duerson "had classic pathology of CTE and no evidence of any other disease," ESPN reported at the time.

"Exactly how the brain damage causes mood disturbance is not clear," said Dr. John Whyte, director of the Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute in Philadelphia, who does not know Seau's medical history. "There could be biological changes going on, or changes in the neurotransmitters that affect mood, or it could be a psychological factor that this brain injury has disrupted work and family life so much that it has really changed your life."

Until more research has been done, Whyte said the public should not jump to conclude a definitive link between concussions that Seau may have experienced in his career and death. But repeated blows to the head may also damage parts of the brain that have to do with impulse control and the ability to weigh the long-term consequences of decisions.

A concussion is caused when the brain is shaken so hard that it hits the inside of the skull, resulting in brain trauma. Studies have contributed to the growing concern over head injuries, particularly concussions, in football and other contact sports.

For reasons that remain unclear to experts, having one concussion makes a person more prone to further concussions. According to a study published in Neurosurgery last year, American football players who sustained three or more concussions were significantly more likely to develop depression and were five times more likely to develop Alzheimer's disease.

According to statistics from the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, about 47 percent of high school football players sustain at least one concussion each season. And 35 percent of those who reportedly suffered from a concussion actually sustained two or more in the same season.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that nearly 2 million brain injuries are suffered by teenage players every year.

While there is more concern over players and suicide, Whyte said sports are likely becoming less dangerous because of all the research being devoted to safety guidelines, proper equipment and the aftermath of a career of brain injuries.

In 2009, the NFL instituted new rules that require clearance from independent neurologists to allow players who suffered concussions to return to the field. The league also imposed stricter guidelines to reduce the number of helmet-to-helmet hits.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Mar052012

Concussion Symptoms in Children Can Last Up to a Year

Dorling Kindersley RF/Thinkstock(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Concussion symptoms in children could last much longer than you think.  

Study findings, published Monday in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, show that some children who suffer mild traumatic brain injury -- or a concussion -- could exhibit symptoms for months after the trauma.  In fact, the researchers say memory and attention problems could be present for up to a year after the injury.

The study's lead researcher, Keith Owen Yeates, director of Columbus, Ohio's Behavioral Health Services at Nationwide Children's Hospital said, according to HealthDay, that most children who suffer a concussion do not have persistent difficulty for months afterward.  "But," he said, "there is a small, but significant proportion of kids that do go on to have persistent symptoms after their injury, lasting as long as three to 12 months."

The researchers say the severity of the injury could determine whether symptoms will persist. Children who lost consciousness appeared to have the worst symptoms, HealthDay reported.

Still, whether children lose consciousness or not, experts say to be cautious and take children with concussion symptoms to see a doctor.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Dec192011

Hockey Hits Can Lead to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Hits and checks have long been accepted as inherent to the game of hockey, but a decision by the NHL's biggest star to sit out of the game indefinitely represents only the latest professional athlete to suffer lasting injuries to the brain.

Sidney Crosby last week cited lingering concussion-like symptoms from at least one blow to the head that left him out of the game for 10 months.

"I've got to make sure with these sort of things that I'm careful and aware and making sure I'm 100 percent before I come back," Crosby, 24, told reporters in Pittsburgh last Monday. "You've got to listen to your body on these things."

Frustrated with the long-term risk of these sports, one neurologist, along with many others in agreement, called for a ban on intentional hitting and fighting in the game of hockey.

Dr. Rajendra Kale, neurologist and interim editor-in-chief of the journal CMAJ, published an editorial Monday that cites several athletes who experienced repetitive blows to the head during contact sports. Such hits led to severe medical problems, including short-term and long-term memory loss, chronic headaches, sleep disorders, mood and behavioral problems, psychiatric changes and even early onset dementia.

"When you find any tradition is causing damage to human's brain, it's time to change traditions," Kale told ABCNews.com. "We found traditions that are harmful and we need to give them up."

Symptoms of concussions include headache, nausea, confusion and loss of memory. Lingering effects can last for days, weeks or months, depending on the severity of the blow.

While Kale noted in the editorial that he was fascinated by the skill, grace and physical fitness needed to play hockey, he "was appalled by the disgraceful and uncivilized practice of fighting and causing intentional head trauma. The tragic story of Sidney Crosby's layoff due to concussions has not been sufficient for society to hang its head in shame and stop violent play immediately."

Kale cited three other hockey players -- Rick Martin, Reggie Fleming and Bob Probert -- who have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalophy, or CTE, a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have sustained several concussions or other head injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio´╗┐

Thursday
Dec012011

Former College Athletes Sue NCAA over Concussions

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Four former college athletes are suing the NCAA, as first reported by The New York Times, alleging that the association sacrificed the safety of student athletes by failing to establish concussion-screening guidelines and return-to-play rules.

“The NCAA has engaged in a long-established pattern of negligence and inaction with respect to concussions and concussion-related maladies sustained by its student-athletes, all the while profiting immensely from those same student-athletes,” reads the suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

The suit claims one of the plaintiffs, 25-year-old Adrian Arrington, had to drop out of Eastern Illinois University because of concussions he suffered on the football field.  Arrington, a hard-hitting strong safety, finished his career with 154 tackles as well as five concussions he blames for memory loss, seizures, depression and almost daily migraines.

“One brain injury is bad, two is worse and three is worse still,” said Dr. Steven Flanagan, professor of rehabilitation medicine and chairman of NYU Langone Medical Center’s Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine.  “In sports, these chronic blows to the head add up.  It’s a bigger problem, I think, than people realize.”

Because college athletes aren’t compensated the same way as professional athletes, the suit seeks cash to cover medical bills and financial losses for Arrington, as well as former football players Derek Owens and Mark Turner, and former soccer player Angela Palacios.  It follows a similar suit filed in July by 75 former National Football League players.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.7 million people sustain traumatic brain injuries each year.  Three-quarters of those injuries are considered “mild,” as concussions.  But concussions are brain injuries, nonetheless.

“When we talk about concussion and mild traumatic brain injury, the ‘mild’ only refers to someone being very unlikely to die,” said Flanagan.  “But the consequences can be much more severe, with chronic problems -- physical, emotional and cognitive issues.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Wednesday
Nov302011

Sports Concussions Lessen Blood Reaching Kids' Brains

Comstock/Thinkstock(CINCINNATI) -- Concussions can reduce blood flow to young athletes' brains for a month or more, although their brains also appear more resilient in many ways than those of similarly injured adults, researchers report.

A single sports-related concussion in a young person generally produces minor trauma, which the researchers described as more of a disruption to brain function than the structural and metabolic damage similar concussions inflict on adult brains.

The findings come from a study assessing the effects of concussions on nine boys and three girls, ages 11 to 15, who'd been injured during football, soccer or wrestling.  The study group comprised three girls injured while playing soccer, one boy injured while wrestling and seven boys injured on the football field.  Two football players were knocked unconscious during the incidents; three of the football players had suffered previous concussions more than a year earlier.

When the researchers, led by Dr. Todd Maugans, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, compared injured athletes' brains to brains of healthy youngsters of the same age and sex, MRIs found less blood flowing through the injured athletes' brains in the immediate aftermath of their head injuries.  The brain-injured athletes also had slower reaction times.

However, by the two-week mark, blood flow for 27 percent of the injured athletes returned nearly to the levels of healthy subjects and most of their symptoms had resolved.  Follow-up at a month or more found 64 percent of the injured athletes had normal blood flow again, and everyone's reaction times were normal, according to results published online Wednesday in the journal Pediatrics.

With 36 percent of the group experiencing persistent blood flow reductions a month or more after their injuries, "our results reinforce the concept that a protracted state of physiologic abnormality exists for some young athletes," the researchers wrote.

The authors theorized that diminished blood flow produces some of the symptoms associated with concussions, most of which resolve with time.  They were unable to say what long-term effects might result from lessened blood flow.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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