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Concussion treatment in spotlight at Dublin conference

The Post-Concussion Rehabilitation Pathway is a new process being developed by consultant neurologist and sports physician Prof Paul McCrory, Chairman of the Sports Surgery Clinic Research Foundation’s Scientific Advisory Board; and Dr Andy Franklyn-Miller, Research Director at the Foundation.

“The most commonly reported symptoms of concussion are headache, balance disturbance, confusion, dizziness and nausea, and memory and concentration issues also feature,” said Dr Franklyn-Miller.

“Although a standardised period of rest is the current guideline, this does not always reliably allow the full resolution of symptoms. The SSC (Sports Surgery Clinic) Rehabilitation pathway will address exercise, sleep, mood, balance, vision and concentration in anyone from recreational to elite, to guide the recovery process.”

Prof McCrory, based the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health, Melbourne, Australia, said public focus on concussion had centred on recognition of concussion in sport and its potential severity. He noted successful campaigns from sporting bodies including the GAA and IRFU, which have highlighted the need to ‘Recognise and Remove’.

“What we are saying today is that research into recording both the baseline and subsequent post-concussion injury rehabilitation data will improve our knowledge and inform the development of a care pathway that can be used internationally,” he said.

The Sports Surgery Clinic Research Foundation will work with patients who have sustained a concussion. Patients will undergo a comprehensive assessment with a sports physician and the rehabilitation teams, who will record medical history, balance, eye movement control, and conduct exercise testing, neuro-cognitive testing and MRI imaging.

This will allow a complete assessment of symptoms and graduated intervention, resulting in a safe, supervised and evidence-based pathway of treatment. Research studies will then be developed using the baseline screening and rehabilitation data to further improve the information known about this process.

Last weekend’s conference on concussion was addressed by speakers such as Prof Willem Meeuwisse, Sports Medicine Centre and Co-Chair, Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre, Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary; and Dr Michael Turner, Medical Director of the National Concussion and Head Injury Centre, London.

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