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NBA announces new concussion policy
December 12th, 2011
04:39 PM ET

NBA announces new concussion policy

The National Basketball Association  has a new program designed to protect players against the long-term impact of concussions.  On Monday, the league announced it has set up a concussion management program that will be run by Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, one of the world's leading experts on sports and head injuries.  Among the program's protocols:

- All players will get an annual baseline neurological exam and cognitive assessment.
- When an athlete gets a concussion during a game, they will have to undergo a customized series of tests before they can return to the court.
- All information related to a concussion, including the diagnosis, treatment and long-term impact will be kept on file.

The program went into effect on Friday, when players reported to training camp.

Programming note: Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has been investigating concussions in sports. Be sure to watch Big Hits, Broken Dreams, debuting Sunday, January 29 at 8 p.m. ET.


soundoff (20 Responses)
  1. Amy T

    It's about time the NBA adopted this policy.

    December 12, 2011 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jim

      The NBA should give more consideration to luring fans back. Oh yeah, I guess they already forgot about the fans. They can all kiss my a $ $!!!!!

      December 13, 2011 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
    • propmgr34

      @Jim- The concussion policy is far more important!

      December 14, 2011 at 10:20 | Report abuse |
    • Brian

      Good for the NBA with all their jarring hits and high contact violence that the sports permits. Because when I think of a physical and aggressive sport, I think of the NBA and not the NBA where if you touch another player he flies ten feet backwards.

      December 14, 2011 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
  2. Beth Aaron

    Put all athletes on a plentiful, colorful, heart healthy plant based diet, especially young athletes, and the calcium in their bones, hence, SKULLS, won't leech out to balance the acidic diet we have come to think of as healthy. Osteoporosis is NOT found in horses, elephants, or for that matter, ANY otyher species besides human? Curious isn't it that before our western diets took a turn for the worse, and people became addicted to eating acidic body parts and acidic milk products, there WAS NO osteoporosis. Interesting as well, that cultures with the highest rates of osteoporosis, are ALL developed nations ( except eskimo's )that consume the most dairy and flesh.
    Children should be educated about the huge health benefits from the vibrant colors and micronutrients found in ONLY plant based foods, the REAL MEDICINE with NO insane side effects.

    The best protection against fractures and concussions, is great, strong bones. Read about it on the web site of Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine or The T. Colin Campbell Foundation.

    December 12, 2011 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JP Philadel

      Wow...what a lot of off topic rambling. It's great you're a vegan but clearly either you have no idea what a concussion is or you just want to spread your vegan stuff. Fact is, athletes need animal protein (depending on the sport). Animal proteins help build muscles. That would be one reason you'll never see a vegetarian body builder. It's not so much the meat but all the garbage that goes with it that's not so good.

      However, I'll take a nice aged medium-rare prime rib with baked potato (butter, sour cream and chives of course) and a nice side of horseradish any day over a plate of lettuce and dandelions.

      December 12, 2011 at 23:25 | Report abuse |
    • Jon

      Not to mention a concussion is NOT a fractured skull. A concussion is when you hit your head so hard that your brain inside of your skull hits the inside of the skull itself. So if anything, having a weaker skull would be BEST to protect concussions because they would absorb most of the forceful impact and crack the bone instead of holding the bone together allowing the brain to bounce back and forth in the skull causing it to bruise.

      Even though that's a dumb (and jokingly silly) thing to say (thinking skulls should be weaker) I'm simply just trying to emphasize the true definition of what a concussion is...it's not the skull breaking, it's the brain hitting the inside of the skull.

      December 13, 2011 at 09:21 | Report abuse |
    • Jon again

      Also, most milk produts are not acidic...they're alkaline (bases). Drink a glass of milk sometime when you have heartburn...it will help soothe it.

      December 13, 2011 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
  3. Daniel

    Like they did this. The NFL does this and Peyton Manning said alot of players lie during that so they can get back into games. Sure NBA players did the same. It's a great program but players quickly took advantage if it's flaw.

    December 12, 2011 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. AZKM

    @Beth Aaron: Stats. Facts. Figures. Numbers. Try some of those before making outlandish claims. Do you even know what a concussion is? The only part of a concussion that involves the skull is when your brain is injured crashing into it after a blow to the head. Nothing to do with "bone strength". Are you suggesting that flesh causes osteoporosis? You do know that we aren't the only species that consumes flesh...maybe we should check lions for osteoporosis, for instance. I could go on and on about how I'm sick of false, outlandish claims, but it won't make any difference as long as you have suckers to give you money for "research"..

    December 12, 2011 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Chuck

    AZKM - Amen to that!!

    December 12, 2011 at 23:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Bob Aboohigh

    Boringball at all levels should come out with a concussion policy for anyone who attempts to watch this sorry excuse for a sport. The policy should include how a person can prevent smacking their head when they pass out from boredom.

    December 13, 2011 at 09:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Craig

    So Bob Aboohigh,

    December 13, 2011 at 13:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Craig

    So Bob Aboohigh. You really don't like basket ball, do you?

    December 13, 2011 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Aboohigh

      What makes you say that?

      December 13, 2011 at 15:26 | Report abuse |
  9. Eli

    Interesting...nice attempt, but before rule #2 takes effect (When an athlete gets a concussion during a game, they will have to undergo a customized series of tests before they can return to the court) you first have to determine that they have a concussion, which isn't usually obvious right away (unless it's a really bad one). So, the rule only applies to subsequent games, not the game in question. Here's a suggestion...ban any action that causes head damage! Evict a player that has hurt another and don't let them back on the court until the player they hurt also returns.

    December 13, 2011 at 14:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • propmgr34

      If a player goes up for a shot and lands down on the court on his head, that doesn't necessarily involve another player. You're assuming things....

      December 14, 2011 at 10:23 | Report abuse |
  10. AP

    Has David Stern been checked for a concussion? His behavior lately indicates a significant brain injury...

    December 13, 2011 at 16:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Matt

    Listen up vegatarian hippies: humans are supposed to eat meat and drink milk. Thats why new mothers lactate, thats why some of our teeth are pointy for meat. Man was eating meat long before he started eating vegetables. Cut your hair, get jobs and do something useful with your life. Hippies...

    December 13, 2011 at 23:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. kris

    My high school son did the ImPact test prior to participating in a sport in August. He got a concussion at a school overnight. He's had a bad headache since early September. He took the Impact test again 3 times. He passed it, except for the 20 question self report of symptoms (ie: headache), he did not pass it. My point is the self report is critical for the student to be honest. An athlete might not tell the truth on the self report of symptoms so he/she can play a sport. Coaches need to be aware of this. Another problem is if the concussion happens outside of a school sport, then coaches/school may not find out about the concussion. The school report should require a student to report all concussions at school and outside of school situation (club sport for example). Schools should also have the proper concussion procedures for teaching staff as well as coaching staff as a concussion can happen at a pick up game of of any sport at an offsite event. All high schools should have posted concussion guidelines in which teachers, students and coaches are educated on the CDC (Center for Disease Control-guidelines) for concussion management. The materials are FREE to schools if requested online (wallet cards, posters, clip board cards, etc...). The students are usually the first to encounter a concussion of a friend, why not educate all students at a school assembly? Everyone should know: 1) Remove athlete from play 2) ensure that the athlete is evaluated by a health care professional experienced in evaluating concussions. Do not try to judge the seriousness of the injury yourself. 3) Inform the athletes parents or guardians bout the possible concussion and give them the fact sheet on concussions 4) Keep the athlete out of play the day of the injury and until a health care professional, expereienced in evaluating for concussion, say the athlete is symptom-free and it's OK to return to play.

    Academics and concussion: Talk to teachers about accommodations in the classroom.
    1) have a headache that develops or worsens with concentration
    2) get tired more easily and over the course of the day, (maybe due to medication)
    3) be easily overloaded, especially with a steady flow of information
    4) read more slowly due to difficulty with comprehension
    5) bothered by loud environment and fluorescent light in the classroom (light- not so much, yet not back to school full time yet)
    6) get frustrated or irritated more easily, especially if overloaded
    7) have trouble doing more than one thing at a time, such as listening to the teacher and taking notes (don't know until he returns to school)
    8) take longer to learn new material
    9) have trouble organizing and remembering homework (don't know until he gets back to school)
    10) remember something one moment but not recall the same thing another time
    11) be easily distracted
    12) feel dizzy after sudden movement or lose his/her balance
    13) lose track of time

    I'm hoping this new bill will change concussion education for all in the future and most of all help students and adults cope with a concussion, especially if it goes into post concussion syndrome.

    February 1, 2012 at 14:42 | Report abuse | Reply

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.