Concussions account for up to 8.9% of all high school athletic injuries and 6% of all college athletic injuries, with the highest incidences seen in football, soccer and ice hockey. Although the incidence of concussion is relatively low, the consequences-which are thought to include long-term depression and cognitive impairment-can be more devastating than any other sports injury.
Often called 'mild traumatic brain injury,' concussion is anything but that.
That's why experts recommend that a clinical diagnosis of concussion also be supported by neurocognitive and neuropsychological testing, some of which have been computerized to minimize the manpower needed for adminstration. Many teams are now obtaining baseline testing data on athletes at the beginning of each season. Then, following a possible concussive event, the test can be repeated and the scores compared to those baseline values; a significant drop in score is considered symptomatic.
Unfortunately, little is known about concussion prevention other than what doesn't work.