WHEN TO START
ANCHOR LEAD: SHOULD ASSESSMENTS BE MADE OF ALL ATHLETES EVEN BEFORE THEY START PLAYING? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
It’s difficult to tease out the effects of concussion or mild traumatic brain injury in athletes if you don’t know how well they functioned before their injury. That fact emerged clearly at the recent NFL/ Johns Hopkins conference on such injuries in football players. Hunt Batjer, co-chair of the NFL medical committee on head, neck and spine, says taking a baseline very early in an athletic career is already being done in some circles.
BATJER: Certainly what we’ve focused on to date is starting with the NFL career level, although there’s a lot going on at the NCAA level. But the idea of going to the schoolyard is very interesting and certainly where this could go. As we stand now numerous NFL communities have established mechanisms and networks to get the message out via trainers and physicians to the schools and the teachers and the coaches and parents about what concussion is and how it should be evaluated and in those systems those kids do come in for neuropsych testing. :33
At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.