CLEVELAND, OH – For years, doctors have studied concussions in athletes, trying to figure out how exactly to detect them and prevent them. While they have come a long ways in their research, there’s still more work to be done.
"There's been a lot of confusion as to what this entity is and what the mechanism is and therefore not understanding that completely, we don't have a rational way to not only treat, but really detect and prevent,” explained Dr. John Chae from Metro Health Medical Center.
He’s one of many attending a conference about concussions in downtown Cleveland.
More than a dozen experts gave presentations. They talked about a variety of issues, including traumatic brain injuries in soldiers coming back from war, motor vehicle accidents, and concussions in sports.
"Girl's soccer has really taken off in concussions and the argument is that maybe they should wear helmets or shouldn't head, but then you look at what we know about football players and that maybe helmets are protective, so I think that's where getting everybody together across a variety of disciplines really helps us understand just what is a concussion and what we need to do about it,” said Dr. Susan Joy from the Cleveland Clinic.
She said it’s not only important for doctors to be aware of what’s happening, but parents too.
She suggests taking your child in to see a medical professional if they do hit their hard during a game or practice. She said it could be more severe than you think.
Dr. Chae agrees.
"If there is any evidence of an impact in the brain, with or without loss of consciousness, there is a possibility that a concussion had happened. Do not simply relegate it and say oh it'll get better. Go see a healthcare professional, go see a primary care doctor, and have that evaluated, don't let it go,” he said.