The guidelines also outlined data showing that having a prior concussion was a risk factor for repeat concussions, suggesting that athletes with suspected concussion be removed from play to prevent further injury.

“Evidence supported using a multimodal assessment of concussion to improve accuracy of diagnosis, and to rely on specialists with knowledge in concussion for proper neurological and behavioral assessment to help determine the optimal timing for return to activity,” Dr Giza said.

The guidelines also support cognitive restructuring — namely education, reassurance, and a symptom-limited return to activity. Overall, the AAN guidelines foster a move toward a multidisciplinary approach to concussion management, but the complex nature of the condition and subjectivity of diagnosis and management remain difficulties to overcome.

Beth Gilbert is a freelance writer based in West Palm Beach, Florida.  


1. McNamee M, Partridge B, Anderson L. Concussion ethics and sports medicine. Clin Sports Med. doi:

2. Giza CC, et al. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: Evaluation and management of concussion in sports. Neurology. 2013; 80 (24): 2250-2257.

3. Giza CC, Kutcher JS, Ashwal S, Barth J, Getchius TS, Gioia GA, Gronseth GS, Guskiewicz K, Mandel S, Manley G, McKeag DB, Thurman DJ, Zafonte R. Summary of evidence-based guideline update: evaluation and management of concussion in sports: report of the Guideline Development Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology. Neurology. 2013 Jun 11;80(24):2250-7. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e31828d57dd. Epub 2013 Mar 18. Review.

This article originally appeared on Clinical Pain Advisor