New guidelines for treating concussions released

AUBURN HILLS (WXYZ) - According to the American Academy of Neurology, more than one million athletes get a concussions each year in the United States.

On Monday, the American Academy of Neurology announced it is replacing guidelines released in 1997 for doctors to use when treating people with traumatic brain injuries.

One of the most important recommendations from the academy is taking an athlete out of the game if it is suspected the person has a concussion.

"We think protecting their brain is important for the long term," said Dr. Rick Figler from the Cleveland Clinic."

According to the academy, younger players should be treated longer and more conservatively.  It gathered evidence from studies up to June 2012.

Studies found football and rugby to be the greatest risk for concussions, followed by hockey and soccer.

7 Action News spoke to Dr. Jim  Moeller from Sports Medicine Associates in Auburn Hills.  He said the guidelines are a helpful tool but not mandatory.

"Organizations like the American Medical Society and the Cleveland Clinic do a lot of work to try to research the topics to try to help set up these road maps for clinicians who are taking care of people with these injuries," said Dr. Moeller.

According to Dr. Moeller,  it is important to understand not every concussion should be treated  the same.  

"Not everybody's situation is the same.  Someone may have been hit the head by a ball where another person may have fell into the ground and hit their head on the ground," said Dr. Moeller. "You don't even have to be hit in the head to get a concession. You just have to have the right forces applied to the brain.  So you could fall on your backside and have basically a shock wave of force go up to the brain."

For more information go to visit http://www.aan.com/concussion . You can also check out the academy's new app Concussion Quick Check

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