The incidence of sports related concussion appears to be increasing, raising alarm over long-term consequences of these head injuries on cognitive function in youth. The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has recently revised its position statement on concussion in sports, reflecting the burgeoning scientific evidence on its epidemiology, neurophysiology and prognosis. The AAN, along with other scientific organizations addressing concussion policy, has abandoned the use of algorithms for assigning a grade to concussions and instead stresses an individualized approach to concussion management. Recent evidence suggests that children and adolescents may be more susceptible to concussions from head blows, and may take longer to recover, than adults. Young women in certain sports also appear to be more susceptible to concussion than young men. The AAN recommends a more conservative approach to management of sports concussion in children and adolescents. Under no circumstances should a young athlete be allowed to participate in sport while still symptomatic. The use of standardized assessment tools is recommended to aid the healthcare provider in assessing the young athlete's recovery.
Keywords: American Academy of Neurology; Concussion; Guidelines; Youth athletes.
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