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Daily Archives: December 12, 2013

Nonconcussion Head Impacts in Contact Sports Linked to Brain Changes and Lower Test Scores

By |December 12, 2013|Concussion|

Source ScienceDaily

Repeated blows to the head during a season of contact sports may cause changes in the brain’s white matter and affect cognitive abilities even if none of the impacts resulted in a concussion, according to a study published today in the journal Neurology.

Using a form of magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth College found significant differences in brain white matter of varsity football and hockey players compared with a group of noncontact-sport athletes following one season of competition. White matter is composed primarily of axons, the long fibers that transmit signals between neurons.

“The contact sports and noncontact-sports groups differed, and the number of times the contact sports participants were hit, and the magnitude of the hits they sustained, were correlated with changes in the white matter measures,” said Thomas W. McAllister, M.D., chair of the IU Department of Psychiatry.

“In addition, there was a group of contact sports athletes who didn’t do as well as predicted on tests of learning and memory at the end of the season, and we found that the amount of change in the white matter measures was greater in this group,” Dr. McAllister said.

The study was conducted while Dr. McAllister was Millennium Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth.

“This study raises the question of whether we should look not only at concussions but also the number of times athletes receive blows to the head and the magnitude of those blows, whether or not they are diagnosed with a concussion,” Dr. McAllister said.

Two groups of Dartmouth athletes were studied: 80 football and ice hockey players in the contact sports group, and 79 athletes drawn from such noncontact sports as track, crew and Nordic skiing. The football and hockey players wore helmets equipped with accelerometers, which enabled the researchers to compile the number and severity of impacts to their heads. Players who sustained a concussion during the season were not included in the analysis.

The athletes were administered a form of MRI test known as diffusion tensor imaging, which is used to measure the integrity of the white matter. They were also given the California Verbal Learning Test II, a measure of verbal learning and memory.

The study did not find “large-scale, systematic differences” in the brain scan measures at the end of the season, which the authors found “somewhat reassuring” and consistent with the fact that thousands of individuals have played contact sports for many years without developing progressive neurodegenerative disorders.

However, the results do suggest that some athletes may be more susceptible to repeated head impacts that do not involve concussions, although much more research would be necessary to determine how to identify those athletes.

More work would also be necessary to determine whether the effects of the head impacts are long-lasting or permanent, and whether they are cumulative.

The Coming Changes in Health Care:What DCs Need to Know

By |December 12, 2013|Health Care Reform|

The Coming Changes in Health Care:
What DCs Need to Know

The Chiro.Org Blog


SOURCE:   Health Insights Today

Interview with Gerard Clum, DC

by Daniel Redwood, DC


Gerard W. Clum, DC, was the first president of Life Chiropractic College West, holding office from January 1981 through January 2011. Dr. Clum has served on the board of directors or as an officer of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the International Chiropractors Association (ICA), the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), the Chiropractic Summit and the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC).

He is now Presidential Liaison for External Affairs at Life University and director of The Octagon, a think-tank sponsored by Life University. In addition, he serves as a consultant and expert witness in matters related to chiropractic practice/care. He has been recognized as “Chiropractor of the Year” by ICA, “Man of the Year” by Dynamic Chiropractic and as one of the top five leaders of the chiropractic profession in a Dynamic Chiropractic readers’ poll. He has lectured throughout the world and has been recognized and honored for his efforts over the years by international, national, state and local groups. He can be reached at gerrycdc@aol.com.

In recent years, Dr. Clum has spoken to numerous employer, insurance and health industry groups on behalf of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, providing powerful, fact-based presentations on the positive effects chiropractic inclusion can bring to both new and traditional forms of health care delivery. He is among the most knowledgeable people in the profession on issues related to the Affordable Care Act and the potential for chiropractic participation in the new entities (Patient Centered Medical Homes and Accountable Care Organizations) being developed as part of health reform.


What recent trends and changes in the health care landscape are most likely to affect present and future chiropractors?

The most immediate changes that are underway involve the refinement of the rules and regulations associated with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. The roles of Congress and the president are complete, to some degree. Once the legislation is passed and signed, it’s turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) or other government agencies, to begin the process of implementing the legislation. And as we all know, sometimes things get implemented differently than they were conceived by the legislators who passed them.


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