The American Association of Neurology has published a concussion position statement but the question is ‘Where is the reference to the international consensus’?
No-one would question that neurologists know about concussion but many of them would be the first to admit they are not experts in sport. How should an athlete train when returning to sport? Should a basketball player stay in the half-court or can she go full-court? When can a rugby player get back to the scrum? Definitely NOT in the NEUROLOGY CURRICULUM!
At a time when the credibility of medicine is being challenged on many fronts, disparate messages and silo thinking need to be minimized. Concussion was capably discussed at an international forum using NIH guidelines — relevant stakeholders were at the table and a consensus statement was published in numerous journals including Neurosurgery and also the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience.
The Consensus meeting represented 10 years of successful collaboration. The table of contents for this vibrant, multinational, interdisciplinary discussion highlights original data, debate and an overview that brought various disciplines under one roof.
We respectfully suggest the AAN position stand would have had even more credibility, and usefulness for a broad audience, if it had cited the 2009 Consensus Statement. As Heath and Heath suggest in their terrific book ‘Made to Stick‘, we need to provide clear, consistent, simple messages.
For those wanting more, listen to BJSM’s podcasts posted immediately after the Zurich meeting.