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50%

of concussions in teen sports aren't reported, evidence suggests. And continuing to play despite a concussion doubles recovery time for teen athletes and leads to worse short-term mental function than in those immediately removed from action, a recent study found. Athletes are sometimes not aware they've experienced a concussion, or they suspect a head injury but continue playing because "they don't want to let their teammates down," said University of Arkansas concussion researcher R.J. Elbin, the study's lead author. In high school athletics, concussions occur at a rate of almost 3 per 10,000 games or practices. The recovery time results "give us more ammunition" to persuade young athletes to heed the return-to-play advice, Elbin said. The study is billed as the first to compare recovery outcomes for athletes removed from a game or practice compared with those who aren't. The study was small, involving 69 teens treated at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, but the results bolster evidence supporting the growing number of return-to-play laws and policies nationwide. The study was published Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The study involved athletes aged 15 on average from several sports who had concussions during a game or practice. Sidelined players reported symptoms immediately and were diagnosed with concussions by trainers or team physicians. The others, who continued playing for 19 minutes on average, delayed reporting symptoms and were diagnosed later. Those who continued to play had worse scores on mental function tests performed eight days after the concussion and 30 days after the concussion. — Associated Press

50% 08/30/16 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 7:06pm]
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