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Clinical Crossroads
July 6, 2011

Diagnosis and Management of Sports-Related ConcussionA 15-Year-Old Athlete With a Concussion

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Dr Zafonte is the Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Professor and Chair, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Harvard Medical School, Vice President of Medical Affairs, Research and Education, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Network, and Chief, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston.

JAMA. 2011;306(1):79-86. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.819

Concussion in youth athletes is a growing problem worldwide. During the past decade, significant progress has been made in standardization of the assessment of young athletes, and a growing appreciation of metabolic vulnerability, activity, and cognitive challenges has led to guidelines and suggestions for rest from the field as well as cognitive rest from school. Outcome data have begun to establish groups linked to symptom class, genetics, and sex who are at risk of worse outcomes from concussions. Decisions regarding return to activity are now based on at-rest symptoms, graded increases in activity, and neuropsychological testing. Using the case of Ms X, a 15-year-old otherwise healthy high school student who fell while skiing, evaluation, prognosis, and management of concussion are discussed.