December 15, 2015

Paranoia Or Legitimate Concern Of Sports Related Concussions?

Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz is a nationally recognized expert on sports-related concussions and co-director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport Related TBI Research Center at the University of North Carolina. - Steve Burns/IPBS

Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz is a nationally recognized expert on sports-related concussions and co-director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport Related TBI Research Center at the University of North Carolina.

Steve Burns/IPBS

BLOOMINGTON -- We see it time and time again. Usually an instant replay during a football game – a big hit from a defender knocking the ball free in front of frenzied fans. But what does that "big hit" mean off the field for an athlete, especially time after time again?

Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz is a nationally recognized expert on sports-related concussions and co-director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport Related TBI Research Center at the University of North Carolina. He was at Indiana University’s Memorial Stadium Monday evening with a message to students and staff to be aware of misrepresentation of concussions, especially with the Christmas Day release of the Sony Pictures film Concussion.

“It’s made for Hollywood, made for entertainment, my guess is there will be some fact actually in there, but a lot of fiction,” Guskiewicz says.

His talk was titled ‘Paranoia or Legitimate Concern.’ Guskiewicz, who’s been a member of both the NCAA Concussion Committee and the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee, says there is no concussion crisis, just misinformation.

“We’re seeing fewer repeat concussions because the initial ones are being managed properly and we’re seeing many kids reporting concussions when just ten years ago we saw fifty percent of high school football concussions going unreported.”

Guskiewicz says the research center is working on technology that modifies an athlete’s behavior to reduce the number of dangerous impacts to the head.

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