effectiveness of protective devices and equipment, screening for and diagnosis of concussions, their treatment and management, and their long-term consequences. Specific topics of interest included

  • the acute, subacute, and chronic effects of single and repetitive concussive and non-concussive head impacts on the brain;
  • risk factors for sports concussions, post-concussion syndrome, and chronic traumatic encephalopathy;
  • the spectrum of cognitive, affective, and behavioral alterations that can occur during acute, subacute, and chronic posttraumatic phases;
  • physical and biological triggers and thresholds for injury;
  • the effectiveness of equipment and sports regulations in preventing injury;
  • hospital- and non-hospital-based diagnostic tools; and
  • treatments for sports concussions.

Based on its review of the available evidence, the committee was asked to identify findings in each of the above topic areas and to make recommendations geared toward research funding agencies, legislatures, state and school superintendents and athletic directors, athletic personnel, military personnel, parents, and equipment manufacturers.

The study was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the CDC Foundation with support from the National Football League, the Department of Defense, the Department of Education, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Research and Education Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

EPIDEMIOLOGY

As this report discusses, there is currently a lack of data to accurately estimate the incidence of sports-related concussions across a variety of sports and for youth across the pediatric age spectrum. Nevertheless, existing data suggest that sports-related concussions represent a significant public health concern. It has been estimated that as many as 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports- and recreation-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including concussions and other head injuries, occur in the United States each year (Langlois et al., 2006). Because many concussions go unreported, this figure likely represents a conservative estimate. Data also suggest that an increase in reported sports-related concussions has occurred in recent years, a trend that may have been caused by a greater awareness of concussions. For example, a review of National Collegiate Athletic Associa-



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