College of American Pathologists

  Press Release


Published on January 31, 2012

Contact: Julie Monzo
Phone: 800-323-4040, ext. 7538

Super Bowl Game Changer: Tackle Concussions in Kids

Pathologists: Better Helmets Can’t Protect Child’s Developing Brain From Concussions, CTE

Northfield, IL.—With the Super Bowl about to kickoff, former Chicago Bears linebacker Hunter Hillenmeyer teams with pathologists to educate parents, coaches, and youth about preventing concussions and the brain disease—CTE.

When former NFL player Hunter Hillenmeyer’s career ended early due to concussions, he found out firsthand that better helmets don’t always protect players from serious injury. Helmets have been shown to reduce the incidence of skull fracture, but not injury to the brain itself. That’s why Hillenmeyer is joining pathologists to educate parents, coaches, and young players about the dangers of concussions.

Hillenmeyer credits pathologists, the physicians who first diagnosed the brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) in football players, with performing medical research targeted to prevent future cases in today’s youth who play contact sports including tackle football and hockey.

Pathologist Thor D. Stein, MD, PhD, of Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy cautions parents to play it safe if a concussion is suspected.

“As a physician whose specialty is pathology, I know that too many blows to the head can set up a child’s brain for CTE later in life. One concussion increases the risk for another, and may cause memory loss later in life,” warns Thor D. Stein, MD, PhD. “How many blows to the head are too many is not yet known.”

Symptoms include vision problems such as double-vision and light sensitivity, confusion, and nausea. After a hard blow to the head, if you have a “punch-drunk” feeling, get off the field, get evaluated by a medical professional, and don’t have your child return to the game until cleared by a medical professional. Learn to identify and prevent concussions. If a concussion is suspected while playing contact sports, teach kids that it’s far better to play it safe and miss a game than to risk memory loss later in life.

The College of American Pathologists (CAP), celebrating 50 years as the gold standard in laboratory accreditation, is a medical society serving more than 18,000 physician members and the global laboratory community. It is the world’s largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is the worldwide leader in laboratory quality assurance. The College advocates accountable, high-quality, and cost-effective patient care.

Radio Interview

Title : Super Bowl Game Changer:
Tackle Concussions, CTE in Kids
Speaker: Richard M. Levenson, MD, FCAP
Description : Radio Interview Time: 1:27 mins
(MP3, 1.4 MB)