Concussion Research Update

Concussion Research Update

Research is a core component of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. Director of Research, Anthony Kontos, PhD, leads the collective study efforts. Since 2000, these efforts have revolutionized the understanding, care, and research of these brain injuries, furthering the field by developing the Targeted Evaluation and Active Management (TEAM) approach to concussion, and developing a consistent understanding of the different clinical trajectories of concussion.

Concussion Research News graphicDuring calendar year 2015, our faculty published more than 35 publications and received over $6 million in external funding for concussion research. This funding came from organizations such as the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Defense, the U.S. Army, the National Football League, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Here is a sample of some of our latest publications:

Current and emerging rehabilitation for concussion: A review of the evidence

This publication reviews the evidence exploring concussion rehabilitation efforts. It is found that exercise and cognitive activity in a controlled environment, like a therapist’s office, may aide in recovering from concussions. In addition, the article explores the idea that additional rehab strategies have benefits and should be incorporated when necessary. Such rehab strategies include those that benefit vestibular, oculomotor, and pharmacologic.

Broglio SP, Collins MW, Williams RM, Mucha A, Kontos AP. Current and emerging rehabilitation for concussion: a review of the evidence. Clinical Sports Medicine (2015). April 34(2), 213-231. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25818710

Examining recovery trajectories after sport-related concussions with a multimodal clinical assessment approach

This study looked exclusively at sports-related concussions and examined recovery times. It was discovered that sports-related concussions actually require a three to four week recovery time, as opposed to the one to two week recovery time that is normally proposed.

Henry LC, Elbin RJ, Collins MW, Marchetto G, Kontos A. Examining recovery trajectories after sport-related concussion with a multimodal clinical assessment approach. Neurosurgery (2015). 1-9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26445375

Near point of convergence after a sport-related concussion: Measurement reliability and relationship to neurocognitive impairment and symptoms

This study focused on convergence insufficiency (CI), a common binocular vision issue that accompanies ocular concussions. The study suggested that physicians should screen for CI when evaluating patients with concussions, especially ocular ones.

Pearce KL, Sufrinko A, Lau BC, Henry L, Collins MW, Kontos AP. Near point of convergence after a sport-related concussion: Measurement reliability and relationship to neurocognitive impairment and symptoms. American Journal of Sports Medicine (2015). 43: 3055-3061. http://ajs.sagepub.com/content/43/12/3055http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0363546515606430

The effect of preinjury sleep difficulties on neurocognitive impairment and symptoms after sport-related concussion

This study examines sleep duration and its relation to neurocognitive function. The study found that those who have difficulty sleeping may be prone to more impairments after a concussion. This information may aide physicians in their development of treatment plans for concussion patients who suffer from sleep difficulties.

Sufrinko A, Pearce KL, Elbin RJ, Covassin T, Johnson E, Collins MW, Kontos AP. The effect of preinjury sleep difficulties on neurocognitive impairment and symptoms after sport-related concussion. American Journal of Sports Medicine (2015) 43(4): 830-838. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25649087