Sports-related recurrent brain injuries--United States

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1997 Mar 14;46(10):224-7.


An estimated 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) of mild to moderate severity, most of which can be classified as concussions (i.e., conditions of temporarily altered mental status as a result of head trauma), occur in the United States each year. The proportion of these concussions that are repeat injuries is unknown; however, there is an increased risk for subsequent TBI among persons who have had at least one previous TBI. Repeated mild brain injuries occurring over an extended period (i.e., months or years) can result in cumulative neurologic and cognitive deficits, but repeated mild brain injuries occurring within a short period (i.e., hours, days, or weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal. The latter phenomenon, termed "second impact syndrome", has been reported more frequently since it was first characterized in 1984. This report describes two cases of second impact syndrome and presents recommendations developed by the American Academy of Neurology to prevent recurrent brain injuries in sports and their adverse consequences.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Athletic Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Athletic Injuries* / physiopathology
  • Athletic Injuries* / therapy
  • Brain Concussion / epidemiology
  • Brain Concussion / physiopathology
  • Brain Concussion / therapy
  • Brain Injuries* / epidemiology
  • Brain Injuries* / physiopathology
  • Brain Injuries* / therapy
  • Edema
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Football / injuries
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Pressure
  • Male
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic
  • Recurrence
  • Syndrome
  • Trauma Severity Indices
  • United States / epidemiology