Management of concussion in soccer
When participating in contact sports, (mild) head trauma is a common incident—observed in both professional and amateur sports. When head trauma results in transient neurological impairment, a sports-related concussion has occurred. Acute concussion, repetitive concussions, as well as cumulative “sub-concussive” head impacts may increase the risk of developing cognitive and behavioral deficits for athletes, as well as accelerated cerebral degeneration. While this concept has been well established for classic contact sports like American Football, Rugby, or Boxing, there is still an awareness gap for the role of sports-related concussion in the context of the world’s most popular sport—Soccer.
Here, we review the relevance of sport-related concussion for Soccer as well as its diagnosis and management. Finally, we provide insight into future directions for research in this field.
Soccer fulfills the criteria of a contact sport and is characterized by a high incidence of concussion. There is ample evidence that these events cause functional and structural cerebral disorders. Furthermore, heading, as a repeat sub-concussive impact, has been linked to structural brain changes and neurocognitive impairment. As a consequence, recommendations for the diagnosis and management of concussion in soccer have been formulated by consensus groups. In order to minimize the risk of repetitive concussion in soccer the rapid and reliable side-line diagnosis of concussion with adoption of a strict remove-from-play protocol is essential, followed by a supervised, graduated return-to-play protocol. Recent studies, however, demonstrate that adherence to these recommendations by players, coaches, clubs, and officials is insufficient, calling for stricter enforcement. In addition, future research to solidify the pathophysiological relevance of concussion for soccer athletes seems to be needed. Advanced neuroimaging and neurochemical biomarker analyses (e.g. S100β, tau and neurofilament light (NfL)) may assist in detecting concussion-related structural brain changes and selecting athletes at risk for irreversible damage.
Sports-related concussion represents a genuine neurosurgical field of interest. Given the high socioeconomic relevance, neurosurgeons should get involved in prevention and management of concussion in soccer.
KeywordsBrain imaging Chronic traumatic encephalopathy Concussion Concussion biomarkers Functional brain imaging Post-concussion syndrome Repetitive head trauma Return to sport Soccer Standard concussion assessment tool Sports-related concussion Tau Traumatic brain injury
Concussion in Sports Group
Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Default mode network
Diffusion tensor imaging
Fédération Internationale de Football Association
Functional magnetic resonance imaging
Glial fibrillary acidic protein
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance perfusion
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy
National Football League
Neuron specific enolase
Positron emission tomography
Return to sport
Sport Concussion Assessment Tool
Second impact syndrome
Traumatic brain injury
Transcranial magnetic stimulation
Autor / Fonte:Vanessa Hubertus, Niklas Marklund, Peter Vajkoczy Acta Neurochirurgica 2019 January 28