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A Journal on Sports Medicine

Official Journal of the Italian Sports Medicine Federation
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Medicina dello Sport 2007 March;60(1):5-14

language: Italian

Sports cerebral concussion

Bianco M. 1, 2, Palmieri V. 1, Faina M. 2, 3, Zeppilli M. P. 1

1 Centro Studi di Medicina dello Sport, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Roma
2 Federazione Pugilistica Italiana, Sezione Medica
3 Istituto di Medicina e Scienza dello Sport, CONI, Roma


Concussion or mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) is a common neurological injury in many contact sports. If not diagnosed and managed properly, it can lead to very dramatic consequences. The typical signs and symptoms of concussion sometimes are very subtle and must be immediately identified as soon as possible (on the field) by sports doctors and sports personnel, particularly if involved in contact sports. Any change in the athlete’s behaviour following a concussion can suggest a neurological impairment that must be properly monitored. Neuropsychological assessment, balance testing and, when indicated, neuroimaging are very useful to evaluate a concussed athlete, however the clinical judgment should lead any return to play decision, particularly in more complex cases. The return to play after a MTBI can start only with asymptomatic subjects, following a gradual and monitored protocol.
In order to prevent sport-related concussions and their consequences, besides modifying rules in high risk sports, it is of paramount importance to spread adequate information on concussion to athletes and all sport personnel.

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