Concussion is an important and significant risk for young athletes
Long gone are the days when athletes were encouraged to shake off a concussion and get back to play as soon as possible. With so many children and teens playing contact sports, concussion has rightfully become an important public health issue. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) describes concussion as “a form of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI)” and that it “is a common consequence of trauma to the head in contact sports.” The number of concussions per year in the US is estimated to be between 1.6 to 3.8 million.1 While most concussions are mild and self-limiting, a minority produce long-term cognitive, physical, and psychosocial sequelae. Indeed the risk of long-term complications from concussion increases as the number of concussive episodes in a given patient increase. Unfortunately, it is not always immediately clear which concussions will be minor and of little lasting consequence, and which are a harbinger of chronic problems. Could EEG allow us to reliably assess the severity and prognosis of concussion?