school sports

Biomarker for Concussions

I am Jessillyn Howard, one of MOG’s athletic trainers.  Driving down the road one day, I heard two radio hosts discuss a blood test that is able to identify a concussion. “That’s awesome!” I thought, “A test to identify concussion would eliminate any guess work and be proof to athletes, coaches, and parents when return to play is questioned.” My hopes, however, were crushed when I read the article published by NATA named “How to Address the New Blood Biomarker Test.”

In this article, the author disproves these claims made about this test. This biomarker can be used to detect intracranial hemorrhage, or bleeding between the brain and the skull, without use of a CT scan. This is helpful in limiting x-ray exposure to patients in which intracranial hemorrhage is suspected. This test, along with any other test or imaging, cannot diagnose concussion. The article states, “concussion remains a clinical diagnosis determined by the mechanism of injury, on-field signs and patient-reported symptoms.” This only solidifies the need for athletic trainers not only in schools, but anywhere sports-related concussion may be possible.

You can read NATA’s article “How to Address the New Blood Biomarker Test” HERE.

 

Hey Trainer! My neck can do what?!?

My name is Jay Phillips and I am a Certified Athletic Trainer. I want to talk briefly about neck strength and the possible relationship between neck strength and reducing the risk for concussion in high school sports. As spring football and spring sports arrive I am constantly hearing one question over and over again from coaches, players, and parent’s alike, ‘what else can be done to reduce the risk of concussions?’ Well, there has been research that shows for every one-pound increase in neck strength, odds of concussion decreased by 5%. The research also shows that observing an athlete’s neck size might be a useful tool in screening athletes that just might be at a higher risk of concussions and could possibly be included in early prevention programs. So, if you work with your athlete to increase his or her neck strength and neck size, your efforts should result in a decrease risk of concussion.

Resources:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24930131