New AAN tools advise athletes suspected of experiencing concussion to stop playing immediately


The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) has hosted a Tweet Chat aimed at helping to educate parents, coaches and athletes about the AAN’s guideline for diagnosing and treating sports concussion.

The guideline advises athletes who may have experienced a concussion to immediately be removed from play, and not returned until they have been assessed by a licensed health care professional trained in concussion. The AAN recommend that athletes should only return to play after all acute symptoms are gone, and that they should do so gradually. Other guideline findings include:

  • Among the sports in the studies evaluated, risk of concussion is greatest in football and rugby, followed by hockey and soccer. The risk of concussion for young women and girls is greatest in soccer and basketball.
  • The first 10 days after an athlete experiences a concussion appears to be the period of greatest risk for being diagnosed with another concussion.

“The Academy’s new infographic is a great visual snapshot of sports concussion facts for parents, coaches and athletes to keep top of mind this season,” says co-lead guideline author Christopher C Giza, who is a member of the AAN from the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, California, USA.


Giza joined Jeffrey S Kutcher, executive director of The Sports Neurology Clinic in Brighton, USA, and a fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, to host a special Tweet Chat on the AAN’s Twitter channel on December 28, 2015, from 1 to 2pm Eastern Time, using the hashtag #AskConcussion. 


“The time to address sports concussion is now,” says Kutcher. “With nearly four million sports-related concussions being diagnosed each year in the United States, our communities and teams need to learn as much as possible about preventing and recognising the condition.”


As two of the world’s foremost concussion experts, the AAN member neurologists will be available to answer general public questions regarding the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of sports concussion.