Treatment Perspectives Based on Our Current Understanding of Concussion

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Sports-related concussion also referred to in the literature as mild traumatic brain injury remains a popular area of study for physicians, neurologists, neuropsychologists, neuroimaging, athletic trainers, and researchers across the other areas of brain sciences. Treatment for concussion is an emerging area of focus with investigators seeking to improve outcomes and protect patients from the deleterious short-term and long-term consequences which have been extensively studied and identified. Broadly, current treatment strategies for athletes recovering from concussion have remained largely unchanged since early 2000s. Knowledge of the complex pathophysiology surrounding injury should improve or advance our ability to identify processes which may serve as targets for therapeutic intervention. Clinicians working with athletes recovering from sports-related concussion should have an advanced understanding of the injury cascade and also be aware of the current efforts within the research to treat concussion. In addition, how clinicians use the word “treatment” should be carefully defined and promoted so the patient is aware of the level of intervention and what stage of recovery or healing is being affected by a specific intervention. The purpose of this review is to bring together efforts across disciplines of brain science into 1 platform where clinicians can assimilate this information before making best practices decisions regarding the treatment of patients and athletes under their care.

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