What is the association between suicide risk and a history of playing high school football? The CJSM Podcast.

The concern over the potential long-term negative consequences of playing youth contact sports has grown over the last two decades.  The Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine — this blog and the CJSM podcasts as well — have been a vital forum for publishing the evidence regarding the relative safety of these sports exposures.

The impact of ACL ruptures and other musculoskeletal injuries — with long-term risks of osteoarthritis — give me pause as a pediatric sports medicine physician, but it is the long-term risk of concussions that generate the most concern among my colleagues, parents, and the public at large.  Will my child get CTE like Junior Seau?

In the United States especially, this concern over long-term risk gets wrapped up with medicolegal concerns, resulting in clickable stories such as this: “WIll Injured Kids Sue the Catholic Church Over Youth Football?” It is easy and understandable that fear may soon outrun the current evidence.

The science underpinning such concerns has grown in parallel with the awareness of the safety issues themselves, and in today’s podcast (and in the November 2021 CJSM) we examine a new study investigating the potential association of exposure to football as a high schooler and long-term suicidality risk.

Senior author Dr. Douglas Terry of Vanderbilt University joins us today to report on his team’s findings in their new publication: Playing High School Football is Not Associated with Increased Risk For Suicidality in Early Adulthood.

The principal finding of the study is right there, in the title; as Dr. Terry and I joked on the podcast, the authors definitely did not bury the lede on this manuscript.  They found no association with playing high school football earlier in life and an increased risk of suicidality in early adulthood.  A valuable contribution to the growing literature, indeed.

Mental health in athletes, including concern for suicide, and the long term effects of concussions are among the most pressing issues in sports medicine.  We think you will find a listen to this podcast and a read of the study itself to be invaluable resources to you as engage with these same issues.

CJSM May 2021 Journal Club — Blood Biomarkers in Pediatric Concussions

The May 2021 CJSM issue has just published, and as always it is full of articles you will want to read.

As I gaze at the table of contents, a non-random sampling of eye catching articles includes

CJSM Junior Associate Editor Jason Zaremski, MD breaks it all down for us.

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Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine

Online Journal Club May 2021

CJSM Junior Associate Editor Jason Zaremski, MD

Jason L Zaremski, MD, CAQSM, FACSM, FAAPMR

Anzalone AJ, et al. Blood Biomarkers of Sports-Related Concussion in Pediatric Athletes.

Introduction:  There has been a substantial amount of interest in the diagnosis, evaluation, and management sports related concussions (SRC) in the past decade. An emerging area of interest has been the study of biomarkers as a more objective measure of head trauma. Two blood biomarkers — Neurofilament light polypeptide (Nf-L), primarily found in axons, and Tau, a microtubule-associated protein necessary for axonal transport — have been studied at advanced level of sport (collegiate, professional, and Olympic athletes).

The authors of this new study evaluated these blood biomarkers in pediatric athletes.  The main outcome measures they looked at were correlations between self-reported symptom measures biomarker concentration levels.

Purpose/Specific Aims: The authors examined patterns of blood biomarker concentrations (tau and Nf-L) in pediatric athletes seen in clinic in the days following a SRC and at a six-month follow up.  A comparator group of non-injured controls were assessed as well.  Correlations between biomarker concentrations and self-reported symptom scores were assessed. Read more of this post

CJSM Blog Journal Club — Preinjury & Postinjury Factors Predicting Recovery in Sports-related Concussions

The new year is upon us, and the first issue of the 2021 Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine has published.

There is much to commend in the issue.  It is always difficult to pick one manuscript among many to highlight in the CJSM Blog Journal club (that’s a good ‘problem’ to have).  

This month, our Jr. Associate Editor Jason L Zaremski, MD has decided to evaluate an original research article looking at pre- and post-injury risk factors that affect clinical recovery time in sport-related concussions.

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Jr. Associate Editor Jason L Zaremski MD

Jason L Zaremski, MD

Introduction:  As we finish up a fall sport season that has been like no other and begin 2021 with renewed spirit, the editors of CJSM and the CJSM blog journal club would like to take a moment to thank all of the health care professionals working tirelessly to keep all of our athletes, patients, support staff, and family members safe. We are proud of how the sports medicine community has conducted itself during this pandemic, and we are hopeful that vaccination will allow us to put this pandemic in the rear view mirror in the not-too-distant future.

To kick off 2021 we would like to review a wonderful manuscript from a team headed by Margot Putukian, M.D., past-president of the AMSSM, which analyzes preinjury and post-injury factors that predict sports-related concussion and clinical recovery time.

Purpose/Specific Aims:

1) The authors evaluated a possible relationship between preinjury risk factors (RFs) and resultant occurrence of concussion.

2) They also sought to examine whether preinjury RFs or post-injury assessments predicted clinical recovery in collegiate athletes

  • defined as days until symptom-free (DUSF) and days until full return to play (DUFRTP)

Read more of this post

Can you do a brief but comprehensive examination of a concussed patient in your clinic?

Well, can you?

If your exam is brief, can it be comprehensive? If it’s comprehensive, will you be able to get through all of the patients on your schedule?

These are some practical questions that most of us in the world of sports medicine struggle with.

I’m looking at my clinic schedule tomorrow, and I have 15 minutes for most patients; for new concussed patients I’m ‘given’ 30 minutes.

Most of us know these clinic slots are a Procrustean bed – there really is little chance we can fit the patient and their needs, as well as our obligation to diagnose and manage the injury, in these time frames.

M. Nadir Haider, M.D.

Good news, then – authors from the University of Buffalo Concussion Management Clinic have just produced a Practical Management article that promises to make your approach much more efficient when you next see a clinic patient with a sports related concussion (SRC).

The first and corresponding author of this manuscript, M Nadir Haider, M.D., is our guest on the newest CJSM blog post. Dr. Haider is affiliated with the Jacobs School of Medicine, State University of New York (SUNY), Buffalo where he is an Assistant Professor of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and the Assistant Director of Research at the University Concussion Management Clinic. Many of the readers of CJSM and listeners of the podcast will be familiar with the voluminous research that comes out of the SUNY, Buffalo center.  This work has been transformative in the area of SRCs.

Listen in on our conversation, where Dr. Haider walks us through the evidence-based exam, and then go to the September 2020 CJSM where you will find the Practical Management article itself, currently free of charge.

As always you can find the podcast on our journal website, or you may go to iTunes to listen in and subscribe as well.

Any way you read, listen or engage with CJSM, we are happy you are part of our sports medicine community.

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