Research Topic

What Have We Learned from Sports Concussion? Diagnosis, Management, Treatment and Prevention

About this Research Topic

Concussion, a type of mild Traumatic Brain Injury, is a growing public health concern for all ages in every population. Much of the recent research with respect to concussion has emerged over the past two decades and is specific to athlete populations. This is because Sport Related Concussions (SRC) occur with a much higher frequency than in the general population and can occur repetitively with debilitating and permanent consequences, including ending an athlete’s career.

From a purely research-oriented perspective, athlete populations provide excellent ‘convenience samples’, allowing for controlled observations of specific cohorts in naturalistic settings. Although this approach has obvious benefits, limitations include subject selection bias, a tendency (more so in the past) to focus almost exclusively on male athletes at the collegiate level, and a lack of replication of specific findings. Moreover, the emphasis – particularly in early SRC research – was largely focused on measuring recovery in specific domains (e.g., balance and cognitive functioning) in order to facilitate safe return to play. Other research efforts have broadly focused on areas relevant to other populations (e.g., children, female athletes), yet, there is still a dearth of research with respect to the effect of concussions on the general population and the implications this injury has with respect to returning to normal ADL, i.e., work or other activities.

Concussions – whether in sport or not – will probably never be eradicated. Therefore, preventive measures and effective treatments that lessen the long-term impact and decrease the risk of protracted recovery from concussions are particularly important. With respect to diagnosis, management, treatment, and prevention, the goal of this Research Topic is to build on earlier research focused on clinical diagnostic issues related to SRC (e.g., loss of consciousness, the presence of amnesia, SRC symptom clusters, etc.), and recent work focused on the identification of blood biomarkers specific to SRC, imaging modalities that can identify SRC anomalies, and psychosocial risk factors predicting delayed recovery from SRC, to further investigate what we have and what we can learn from SRC in differing populations.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
o Diagnostic hallmarks and clinical trajectory of concussion
o Sports concussion assessment, on and off the field
o Novel biomarkers and imaging techniques and concussion
o Treatment and management of concussion, for athletic and general populations
o Gender-related differences and SRC
o Risk factors for delayed recovery from SRC
o Concussion prevention:
o Guidelines for the prevention of sports concussion
o Emerging technologies
o Efficacy of education programs


Keywords: Sport Related Concussion, diagnosis, management, treatment biomarkers, neuroimaging, education, prevention


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Concussion, a type of mild Traumatic Brain Injury, is a growing public health concern for all ages in every population. Much of the recent research with respect to concussion has emerged over the past two decades and is specific to athlete populations. This is because Sport Related Concussions (SRC) occur with a much higher frequency than in the general population and can occur repetitively with debilitating and permanent consequences, including ending an athlete’s career.

From a purely research-oriented perspective, athlete populations provide excellent ‘convenience samples’, allowing for controlled observations of specific cohorts in naturalistic settings. Although this approach has obvious benefits, limitations include subject selection bias, a tendency (more so in the past) to focus almost exclusively on male athletes at the collegiate level, and a lack of replication of specific findings. Moreover, the emphasis – particularly in early SRC research – was largely focused on measuring recovery in specific domains (e.g., balance and cognitive functioning) in order to facilitate safe return to play. Other research efforts have broadly focused on areas relevant to other populations (e.g., children, female athletes), yet, there is still a dearth of research with respect to the effect of concussions on the general population and the implications this injury has with respect to returning to normal ADL, i.e., work or other activities.

Concussions – whether in sport or not – will probably never be eradicated. Therefore, preventive measures and effective treatments that lessen the long-term impact and decrease the risk of protracted recovery from concussions are particularly important. With respect to diagnosis, management, treatment, and prevention, the goal of this Research Topic is to build on earlier research focused on clinical diagnostic issues related to SRC (e.g., loss of consciousness, the presence of amnesia, SRC symptom clusters, etc.), and recent work focused on the identification of blood biomarkers specific to SRC, imaging modalities that can identify SRC anomalies, and psychosocial risk factors predicting delayed recovery from SRC, to further investigate what we have and what we can learn from SRC in differing populations.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:
o Diagnostic hallmarks and clinical trajectory of concussion
o Sports concussion assessment, on and off the field
o Novel biomarkers and imaging techniques and concussion
o Treatment and management of concussion, for athletic and general populations
o Gender-related differences and SRC
o Risk factors for delayed recovery from SRC
o Concussion prevention:
o Guidelines for the prevention of sports concussion
o Emerging technologies
o Efficacy of education programs


Keywords: Sport Related Concussion, diagnosis, management, treatment biomarkers, neuroimaging, education, prevention


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 February 2021 Abstract
31 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 February 2021 Abstract
31 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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