NCAA Releases Concussion Study Report

The NCAA approved a study in 2014 to explore the effects of concussions on athletes. Here are their findings, so far:

  • Student-athletes removed from play immediately after suffering a concussion return to play roughly two days faster than those who continue to play after the injury.
  • Student-athletes hesitant to report concussions are not only doing more potential harm to themselves, but also to their teams because they are more likely to miss playing time.
  • The attitudes regarding concussions among student-athletes, medical providers and athletics programs alike have shifted significantly.
    • In a 2001 study, NCAA football players returned to play an average of 6.7 days after their initial injury.
    • In that study, student-athletes are returning to play an average of 14.3 days after suffering a concussion.
    • Also, in the 2001 study, 92 percent of repeat concussions occurred within 10 days of the first injury, but there have been zero repeat concussions within 10 days in the current study despite its significantly larger scope.
  • The brain continues to recover even after symptoms have abated and after student-athletes can pass cognitive and balance tests.
  • Ensuring adequate time for recovery is being emphasized on campuses across the country.
  • The current study has enrolled more than 28,000 student-athletes at 30 campuses.
  • More than 1,600 concussions have been recorded, nearly 300 in football alone.
  • Two-thirds of concussions occur in practice or training, while only about 30 percent happen in competition.

“The findings will be used to influence recommendations and rules pertaining to student-athlete health and safety, and the researchers hope the study lays the groundwork for a decades-long examination of the long-term effects of concussion and exposure to contact,” said the NCAA.

Note:  Excerpts from NCAA press release.

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