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Concussions have been a hot topic of conversation in the sports world over the last few years, but is the crises overblown?
Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz is a nationally recognized expert on sport-related concussions at the University of North Carolina. He was at Indiana University’s Memorial Stadium Monday evening with a message to students and staff that there is no concussion crises, just misinformation.
“We’re seeing fewer repeat concussions because the initial ones are being managed properly and we’re seeing many kids reporting concussions when just ten years ago we saw 50 percent of high school football concussions going unreported,” said Guskiewicz.
Guskiewicz disputed Dr. Bennet Omalu’s from University of California, Davis claims in 2009 linking playing football with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE, a progressively degenerative disease caused by repetitive head trauma that can lead to memory loss, depression and dementia.
Omalu was the first doctor to publish findings citing a link between American football and CTE. In September 2015, it was revealed 87 of 91 of the deceased NFL players examined by researchers at the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University had suffered from CTE.
Guskiewicz was added to both the NCAA Concussion Committee and the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee in 2010. The committee developed the NFL concussion protocol in conjunction with the NFL players association.
He also won a $500,000 Macarthur grant in 2011 for his work on concussion research.
He says the research center is working on better using technology to modify athlete’s behavior to reduce the number of dangerous impacts to the head.
Josh Margolis contributed to this report.