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Concussion Management at the NFL, College, High School, and Youth Sports Levels

By Joseph C. Maroon, MD, and Jeffrey Bost, PA-C

Concussion is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain that is induced by traumatic biomechanical forces. Sport- and recreation-related concussions are conservatively estimated at 1.6 to 3.8 million cases each year in the United States alone.1,2 The wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan have had the distinction of producing the greatest number and percent of mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs; concussion) that have ever been documented in a major war owing to roadside explosions.3 Whether occurring from sports collisions or bombings, concussion can result in both short-term and long-term impairment of neurological function and the possibility of significant neuropathological changes. A smaller percentage of cases can exhibit signs and symptoms referred to as postconcussive syndrome (PCS), which may be prolonged or permanent.

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