PRIME's Geoff Rose attended The Hospital of Special Surgery’s Concussion and Controversies convention. The convention had some of the top researchers and rehabilitation practitioners in the country. While there have been major strides in the past few years when it comes to understanding traumatic brain injury there is still a lot of uncertainty out there as there is so little long term research. As Dr. Keene, University of Washington Pathologist, said “There’s more we don’t know, then we do know”.
Protocols for post-concussion have stabilized and are becoming more uniform thanks to the collaboration of neurologists at the Berlin Conference in 2017. They have also come to the conclusion that rehab can not continue to be linear. That practitioners of different backgrounds must come together in order to find the proper model. The Collaborative Care Effort has now come forward to combine vestibular, musculoskeletal, exercise, and nutrition to create a comprehensive treatment plan.
Dr. Shetty presented her work on imaging (think MRI) and how we can track changes of lesions, white vs grey matter, and flow of Cerebral Spinal Fluid. This comes into play with research of rehabilitation to see if changes have been made in specific parts of the brain from the given treatment protocol. NFL sideline Protocols have also become more technical with objective testing via written, verbal, and vestibular testing. The NFL has also dedicated more staff with video technology to spot potential concussions.
Neurologists, pathologists, and researchers all agree that they are still scratching the surface on rehabilitating concussions. Even though traumatic brain injury has been around since humans have, there is a lag in research. Thanks to specialists around the world the gap is quickly closing.