As NCAA schools must take greater responsibility for their concussion protocols, neurologist Harry Kerasidis, MD provides guidelines for returning to classroom activity
(Newswire.net — August 11, 2016) National Harbor, MD — “Student-athletes are students first,” says Harry Kerasidis, MD, a neurologist and creator of XLNTbrain Sport™ which is an online and mobile-based comprehensive concussion management system. Upon detecting a concussion, the program automatically devises a personalized, “return-to-learn” protocol, which gives teachers and school officials details for handling a student-athlete with a concussion.
As the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) athletics are under fire from lawsuits by former players,surveys have shown many schools have yet to incorporate a concussion management program, which includes a return-to-learn component. However showing signs of progress, earlier this year, Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief media officer, finally pushed through his proposal when the Power Five conferences voted to give team physicians and athletic trainers “unchallengeable” authority in decisions involving injured athletes.
“I believe it’s the most important piece of legislation in the history of the NCAA, because it helps to assure the roots of why the NCAA was established,” Brian Hainline, the NCAA’s chief medical officer, said. “It’s starting a pathway that there’s no turning back on.”
This moves gives each NCAA athletic departments responsibility for providing concussion management, which needs to lead with clear guidelines for returning to classroom activities, according to Dr. Kerasidis. With back-to-school Fall and Winter sports getting started, most athletic programs are refreshing their protocols to meet new state laws, and beginning pre-season baseline testing at their student-athletes.
But Dr. Kerasidis cautions against returning concussed student-athletes to full academic rigor too quickly or without a plan to adjust and support the athlete’s return to the academic environment.
Since few concussion protocols assist with guiding student-athletes and parents with the return-to-learn procedure, XLNTbrain Sport™ automatically considers previous scores from the pre-season baseline test and recent injury to outline a clear and personalized “Academic Care” recovery timeline.
The automated and fully customizable return-to-learn feature was inspired by the American Academy of Pediatrics, where the recommended academic adjustments are tailored directly to the sport-concussion related symptoms the injured athlete is experiencing, said Dr. Kerasidis.
“The return-to-play decision always gets more attention, but the return-to-learn decision is largely given to parents who may or may not be aware that the recovery timelines can differ,” said Dr. Kerasidis, also author of Concussion-ology: Redefining Sports Concussion Management for All Levels. “Using the XLNTbrain protocols and tracking tools, the medical clearance decision can be made based on personalized data.”
According to Dr. Kerasidis, student activities can be rigorous exercise for the brain, and after a concussion, that’s the last thing you want to do.
“Healing from a concussion can be delayed if the athlete’s brain is forced to memorize, focus, make decisions, endure test-taking stress as well as other anxieties,” said Dr. Kerasidis. “I believe the return-to-learn decision is more important than return-to-play because concussions may be able to end a playing career, but we can’t let them prevent a future of prosperity.”
Dr. Kerasidis authored these 10 Guidelines for “Return-to-Learn,” for those not subscribed to the XLNTbrain Sport™ system.
“The goal is to return the athlete back to action safely. The gradual progression of mental and physical activity, while monitoring cognitive performance and daily symptoms help the student-athletes, school administrators, parents, coaches, and medical professionals avoid the dangers associated with concussions and returning too early,” Dr. Kerasidis said. “The intention is to return to the classroom as quickly as possible but with appropriate adjustments that allow academic participation without provoking concussion related symptoms.
To see the original post, click here.