Consultants advocate for terminology change in mind damage analysis

A brand new editorial printed this Could within the British Journal of Sports activities Medication by specialists from Spaulding Rehabilitation, Boston College, Mayo Clinic, and the Concussion Legacy Basis, argues that the time period “subconcussion” is a harmful misnomer that ought to be retired. The authors are interesting to the medical group and media to substitute the time period with extra particular phrases so the general public can higher perceive the dangers of mind accidents and advance efficient efforts to stop persistent traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

The general public has been led to imagine by means of media protection and flicks that concussions alone trigger CTE. However the analysis is obvious: concussions don’t predict CTE standing, and the hits that trigger concussions are sometimes not the toughest ones, making ‘subconcussive’ deceptive when describing impacts.”

Dan Daneshvar, MD, PhD, senior writer, chief of Mind Harm Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation, member of the Mass Basic Brigham healthcare system, and assistant professor, Harvard Medical College

The authors imagine a part of the confusion outcomes from the truth that head impacts which do not trigger concussion are known as “subconcussive impacts,” implying they’re lower than concussions. Scientists usually say that CTE is attributable to “small, repetitive impacts,” which leaves out the impact of any “massive repetitive impacts.”.

Ross Zafonte, DO, president of Spaulding Rehabilitation and chair of the Harvard Medical College Division of Bodily Medication and Rehabilitation, served as a co-author.

Earlier research report a excessive incidence of huge repetitive impacts throughout soccer. Revealed helmet sensor research present that round 10 % of head impacts skilled by soccer gamers are more durable than the common concussion. That implies that if a soccer participant will get one concussion throughout a 1,000 head impacts season, round 100 hits have been more durable than that one concussion. One examine confirmed that for each concussion a school soccer participant experiences, they expertise 340 head impacts of larger pressure.

The authors of the editorial suggest changing “subconcussive” with “nonconcussive” to raised describe head impacts that do not end in a concussion.

“We have at all times identified CTE is attributable to head impacts, however till we did this evaluation, I did not notice I absorbed a whole bunch of utmost head impacts for each concussion after I performed soccer,” stated Chris Nowinski, PhD, lead writer, co-founder and CEO of the Concussion Legacy Basis, and former Harvard soccer participant. “Utilizing the time period subconcussive naturally led me to think about smaller hits, however now I think these frequent bigger hits are enjoying a extra important position in inflicting CTE than we beforehand believed.”

The editorial additionally highlights how the time period subconcussive has not solely confused the dialogue round head impacts, but in addition round traumatic mind accidents. Research persistently present that athletes uncovered to a whole bunch of repetitive head impacts, within the absence of a concussion, nonetheless have adjustments to mind perform, blood biomarkers of mind damage, and structural adjustments on imaging that look much like adjustments in athletes with identified concussions. The idea of subconcussive damage has been shoehorned into the dialog to clarify this “lacking hyperlink.”

The authors recommend we cease utilizing subconcussive damage, noting the lacking hyperlink is best described as subclinical traumatic mind damage (TBI). Subclinical TBI occurs when there are adjustments in mind perform, biomarkers, or imaging with out TBI indicators or signs.

“The human mind has greater than 80 billion neurons, and we could be assured an athlete can’t really feel it when just one is injured,” stated neurosurgeon Robert Cantu, MD, medical professor of neurology, Boston College College of Medication, and diagnostics and therapeutics chief, Boston College ARDC-CTE Heart. “Athletes, army veterans, and members of the group incessantly undergo subclinical traumatic mind accidents, and we advise retiring subconcussion, a poorly outlined time period, when referring to mind accidents.”

By altering this nomenclature, the authors hope to make clear why concussions don’t predict who has CTE, whereas the quantity and energy of repeated head impacts does. They implore the medical group and media to correctly title the impacts and accidents that may’t be seen, which might advance the dialog to speed up CTE prevention efforts, such because the CTE Prevention Protocol.


Journal reference:

Nowinski, C. J., et al. (2024). “Subconcussive” is a harmful misnomer: hits of larger magnitude than concussive impacts could not trigger signs. British Journal of Sports activities Medication.

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