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Gerard Gioia, PhD, Contributes to Updated Sports Related Concussion Guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology

Washington, DC – Updated sports-related concussion guidelines from the American Academy of Neurology (AAN) draw on work done by Gerard Gioia, PhD, Chief of  Neuropsychology at Children’s National and internationally recognized in concussion research and clinical care. The updated guidelines confirm best practices in place at Children’s National.

“There is now wide consensus nationwide on best practices in the recognition and management of concussion in young athletes,” said Dr. Gioia. “As we have said for years, if there is any doubt about a child or teen having been injured on the field, sit him or her out, and have the injured player assessed by a licensed healthcare professional with expertise in concussions before they return to play.”

The guidelines reinforce all the recommendations Dr. Gioia has made for many years. As Dr. Gioia notes, concussion management requires an interdisciplinary approach, and not getting appropriate care puts a young athlete at risk of repeat injury, which compounds the original injury and prolongs recovery. Dr. Gioia also notes that concussion management and recovery is an individual process, so concussion management must be individualized to each patient. 

“Our smart phone/tablet concussion application, Concussion Recognition & Response, and a similar one from the AAN, are great tools for parents and coaches, because they accelerate the process of recognition and treatment,” continued Dr. Gioia. “The best apps help parents and coaches keep information about signs and symptoms right at hand, so they can assess injured athletes in a timely fashion.”   

“We applaud the work done by this interdisciplinary team to aggregate and verify best practices in concussion management,” said Roger J. Packer, MD, Senior Vice President, Center for Neurosciences and Behavioral Medicine at Children’s National. “Dr. Gioia has long been an advocate for the recommendations now formally updated by the AAN.  His role in this work, and over the years to advance best practices, is to be commended by researchers, clinicians, and the patients and families who benefit from evidence-based clinical care in concussion injuries.”

The SCORE program (Safe Concussion Outcome Recovery & Education) is part of the Division of Neuropsychology, led by Dr. Gioia, who is recognized internationally as a leading voice in advocating for young athletes.

“It is important for young athletes and parents to understand that the AAN guidelines confirm that it is essential to take injured athletes off the field and not return them to play until a qualified medical professional has assessed and cleared them," continued Dr. Gioia. “These are evidence-based guidelines, which emphasize proper recovery in young athletes, whose brains are still developing.”

Contact: Emily Hartman or Paula Darte, 202-476-4500

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