WASHINGTON D.C. (WUSA9) -- The American Academy of Neurology released today in it's online issue of Neurology, an updated concussion guideline for the one million athletes each year who experience a concussion.
Within the last decade, there's been a string of concussions in the NFL-- Michael Vick, Jay Cutler, and Alex Smith are just a few NFL stars who suffered head injuries. Both the NFL and the NCAA has dealt with numerous class action lawsuits, concerning players' health and concussion related incidents.
A committee of experts developed these recommendations through an objective-based review of current literature, essentially revamping the 1997 guideline.
"We've moved away from the concussion grading systems we first established in 1997 and we are now recommending concussion and return to play be assessed in each athlete individually," said co-lead guideline author Christopher C. Giza, MD, with the David Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children's Hospital and a member of AAN.
Some of the major recommendations include:
- Understanding there is no clear evidence that one type of football helmet can better protect against concussion; therefore, all helmets should fit properly and be well maintained.
- The first 10 days after a concussion appears to be the period of greatest risk for being diagnosed.
- Risk factors linked to chronic neurobehavioral impairment in professional athletes include prior concussion, longer exposure to the sport and having the ApoE4 gene.
The National Football League Players Association and the American Football Coaches Association have endorsed the guideline.
Now led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, the NFL has tightened regulations on forcing players who sustain head injures to sit out.