Concussion study focuses on high school athletes - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Concussion study focuses on high school athletes

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High school sports bring the danger of concussions for student athletes. (KTEN) High school sports bring the danger of concussions for student athletes. (KTEN)

SHERMAN, Texas -- Texoma high schools are gearing up for football season, with most starting two-a-days this week.

And sports events bring the return of sports-related injuries.

The Concussion Network of North Texas -- ConTex -- is working to try to better understand this significant public health concern. Using an app distributed to participating schools, the network is gathering data for four hospital groups and the University Interscholastic League to evaluate the long-term impact of brain injuries on student-athletes.

Concussions can happen in any sport.

"I've seen them in soccer; I've seen them in volleyball, basketball," said Sherman Independent School District athletic trainer Scott Pope. He said a helmet can't prevent concussions.

"Students seem to try to imitate the NFL and try to lead with their heads," he said.

Concussions aren't that rare. The Centers for Disease Control tallied 640,000 traumatic brain injuries reported by emergency rooms, but the actual number could be much higher due to students brushing off their bumps and bruises.

"When they do have something hurting their head, they've got to tell somebody," Pope said. "If your brain is still healing and they get hit again, they can actually get something called a second impact syndrome, which actually they can die from."

But our knowledge of concussions remains limited.

"The brain is very complex. We only use 10 percent of our brains, we just do not understand it," Pope said.

So the ConTex program is documenting and tracking concussions, examining injury characteristics, and identifying risk factors.

"I think it's a good way to kind of start seeing what the trends are," Pope said.

The ConTex registry is currently limited to Texas, but developers hope it will eventually be used nationwide. 

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