3 Myths of Concussions in youth, young adults

LearningRx Chicago-Naperville clears up myths about concussions and how concussions can be critical for young adults and children.
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Aug. 1, 2014 - PRLog -- With the recent stories in the news about concussions and the NCAA reaching a $75 million settlement in a concussion lawsuit, LearningRx Chicago-Naperville wants to clear up myths about concussions in youth and high school sports.

Concussions of adults are serious, but the concussion of a high school cheerleader who falls from the top of a pyramid, or the junior high hockey player who gets slammed against the rink, can be dire.

Their concussions can result in life-altering damage, said Mia Tischer, executive director of LearningRx Chicago-Naperville, . In fact, because the brain doesn’t fully mature until at least the mid-20s, any damage during its development can have a significant impact on cognition and day-to-day functioning.

“Luckily the brain is pliable and the earlier that an assessment is done, the quicker that training can begin to get back to day-to-day functioning,” she said.

Here are three myths about concussions in children and young adults:

MYTH #1: The two most dangerous high school sports in terms of concussion rates are football and hockey.

Although high school football accounts for around 250,000 concussions each year[1] (http://#_ftn1), the second most dangerous sport isn’t hockey; it’s girls’ soccer. Other school sports known for their concussion rates include boys’ wrestling, girls’ basketball, boys’ ice hockey, and boys’ lacrosse[2] (http://#_ftn2). In addition, cheerleading has the highest rate of catastrophic injury.[3] (http://#_ftn3)

MYTH #2: The best predictor of post-injury symptom severity and neurocognitive deficits is loss of consciousness. On-the-field amnesia is actually the most predictive symptom, and loss of consciousness occurs in fewer than 10 percent of concussions. In terms of general concussion symptoms, watch for: headache, confusion, lightheadedness or dizziness, blurred vision or tired eyes, memory loss, ringing in the ears, bad taste in mouth, convulsions or seizures, numbness or poor coordination in limbs, fatigue or lethargy, agitation or restlessness, changes in sleep patterns, mood swings and behavior changes, and trouble with concentration, attention, or thinking.

MYTH #3: MRIs, CTs and EEGs are the most useful tools in identifying the effects of concussion.

MRIs, CTs, and EEGs are not always useful at identifying the effects of a concussion. “Concussions are usually metabolic, not structural injuries,” explains Tanya Mitchell, co-author of “Unlock the Einstein Inside; Applying New Brain Science to Wake Up the Smart in Your Child” (www.unlocktheeinsteininside.com). “Observation of symptoms is probably the best and fastest way to diagnose a concussion on the spot and in the days immediately following the injury. A cognitive skills assessment is effective to determine if certain skills—such as attention, working memory, and long-term memory have been affected. This is even more valuable if a cognitive baseline has been established prior to the injury so there are brain skills measurements against which to compare.”

Did you know?:

• According to one study of the 1.6 to 3.8 million sport-related concussions that occur in the United States each year, around 250,000 are due to high-school football alone.

• Between 4 and 20 percent of players will sustain a concussion in a single season.

• The second most dangerous sport (after football) is girls’ soccer.

• Other sports with high concussion rates include boys’ wrestling, girls’ basketball, boys’ ice hockey and boys’ lacrosse.


About LearningRx-Naperville:LearningRx-Naperville specializes in treating the root cause of learning struggles, such as dyslexia, ADD, ADHD, and provides support in reading, math, and career and academic advancement. Anyone of any age can increase the speed, power or function of his or her brain. LearningRx-Naperville opened in November 2011 and is the only one-on-one Brain Training Center in Illinois.

[1] (http://#_ftnref) “The Effect of Sport Concussion on Neurocognitive Function, Self-Report Symptoms and Postural Control”


[2] “Epidemiology of concussions among United States high school athletes in 20 sports” April 2012 issue of American Journal of Sports Medicine

[3] “Neurocognitive testing more accurate than self-reporting when assessing concussion recovery in cheerleaders”


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Faith Behr
Source:LearningRx Chicago-Naperville
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