Concussion research presented to forum

Eric Lindros looked around the room and saw a lot more support for concussion research than he would have expected when he played hockey.

“I think if were to attempt to do this 20 years ago, I’m not sure if we would have so many people here,” the NHL Hockey Hall of Fame Honouree said Tuesday.

He was addressing the crowd at a discussion, Bruising Your Brain: What Science and Sport Say About Concussions.

At the event, Dr. Roger Zemek, a pediatric emergency physician and scientist, introduced his study, known as the 5P study, which predicts post-concussions problems in children.

The goal of the 5P study Dr. Zemek said, is to predict how much a person is at risk from suffering from post-concussion symptoms.

These are tests that can be done right away at a clinic rather than a blood test, for example, that can take weeks to get back.

Among the interesting findings were “that teenagers were at higher risk than lower-age children, and that girls were at higher risk of having prolonged symptoms than compared to boys,” Dr. Zemek said.

The balance of a patient is also a significant determinant.

“Of the 70 plus things we tested in the emergency room, that was one of the key findings, and the only physical exam finding that we measured, that predicts symptoms, Dr. Zemek said.

Based on all these factors, points are assigned to each of these variables and add up on a scale from 1 to 12.

“There was a very strong correlation between the number of points they have and their eventual percentage who had persistent concussion symptoms,” Dr. Zemek said.

Three or less points meant the person was low-risk, between four and eight is medium-risk, and nine and above is high-risk.



Also published by the Toronto Observer*

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