Welcome to On The Mind! After a bit of a hiatus, we’re finally back. For any new readers, On The Mind is a semi-regular feature where we look at recent concussion-related news. Every piece is summarized, with a link to follow if you want the full story.
Today, we’ll be covering four pieces, including the first piece we’ve talked about that isn’t specific to the United States.
Penn State News – Dyslexia gene may predict concussion susceptibility among football players
A study of 87 Penn State football players suggests that a gene that carries increased risk for dyslexia may also correlate with a decreased susceptibility to concussion. Nine separate genes were tracked as part of the study, and one, known as KIAA0319, produced some particularly interesting data. It seems that one of KIAA0319’s genotypes may correlate with a low risk of concussion. There are no large conclusions to be drawn, but this study both suggests a genetic component to concussion risk and may provide a direction for researchers to follow in the future.
Irish Independent – New GAA programme to improve treatment of concussions
The Gaelic Athletic Association, or GAA, recently unveiled a new set of protocols to handle athletic concussions. Previously, the GAA’s policies had been simple and catch-all, but, reponding to growing worldwide knowledge about traumatic brain injuries, the GAA is acknowledging that concussions are varied and that having a single plan that doesn’t account for the ways an injury can vary is inadequate.
IndyStar – Study looks to unravel long-term impact of concussions in college sports
The U.S. Department of Defense and NCAA’s joint venture CARE (Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education Consortium) was awarded 22.5 million dollars to focus research on long-term effects of concussions. Questions about the long-term effects of concussions have been around for quite a while, but most research has nevertheless focused on immediate effects and short-term recovery.
The Washington Times – Treatment of concussions on the ice evolves as NHL fights lawsuit
The NHL has had several issues in the way of a resolution to their ongoing CTE lawsuit, namely the league’s continued insistence that there is no link between concussions and CTE. Concern has been growing consistently among athletes, but the league’s higher-ups entirely reject the idea that concussions lead to CTE. The NHL has done work to reduce concussion risk for its players, but the rejection of long-term risks is still a definite issue.