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Home   Join/Renew   Certification   Member Services   Education   Research   Foundation Oct. 5, 2010

In this issue:

Active Voice: Is Helmet Design the Answer to Concussion in Collision Sports?
Policy Corner: Pennsylvania Concussion Law Moves to Senate
The Tenth Inning Documentary Depicts Issues of Doping in Baseball
Science & Research Update: Researchers Discover Protein Responsible for Regulating Body Fat and Bone Mass
Save the Date – ACSM’s Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition – April 13-16, 2011
Sports Medicine & Exercise Science Headlines

Active Voice: Is Helmet Design the Answer to Concussion in Collision Sports?
By Robert Cantu, M.D., FACSM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Active Voice is a column by experts in science, medicine and allied health. The viewpoints expressed do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Robert Cantu, M.D., FACSM, is a clinical professor of neurosurgery and co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University Medical Center. He is a 31-year member and a Past President of ACSM. Dr. Cantu is an internationally recognized expert on concussion and head and spine injuries. Dr. Cantu will be speaking at the American Association of Professional Ringside Physicians’
2010 Annual Medical Seminar. The seminar will focus on “The Brain and Neck in Boxing and Related Sports” and will be held in Orlando from Nov. 4-6.

Because the brain is freely floating within the cerebrospinal fluid, it moves at a different rate than the skull in response to a collision. This discrepancy can result in a collision between the brain and skull, either on the side of the impact (coup) or opposite the impact (contrecoup). The high-speed acceleration/deceleration associated with these impacts may also result in stretching of the long axons and in diffuse axonal injury.

Depending on the extent of these injuries, neurologic dysfunction may occur. An estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million traumatic brain injuries (TBI) occur annually as a direct result of participation in athletics. These figures, however, are believed to drastically underrepresent the total incidence of TBI. In sports such as football, the incidence of mild or moderate TBI may be as high as 80 percent, and these athletes often do not seek medical care.

To date, 35 brains of deceased athletes have been examined at the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the Boston University School of Medicine, and 13 of those brains belonged to former NFL players. Of those 13 brains, 12 manifest Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), and three of those 12 also exhibit signs of motor neuron disease and is called Chronic Traumatic Encephalomyelopathy (CTEM). This sobering news coupled with the increased recognition and diagnosis of Post-Concussion Syndrome has created a heightened awareness of head trauma in sports and a search for ways to reduce it.

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Policy Corner: Pennsylvania Concussion Law Moves to Senate
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Most state legislatures are in session from January through about April. Several are still in session however, and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives passed concussion legislation Sept. 28. State Representative Tim Briggs saw his bill, The Safety in Youth Sports Act (H.B. 2728), pass the House by a vote of 169-29. The bill is designed to improve the management of concussions in youth athletes and to increase awareness regarding the devastating, lifelong effects they can cause.

Modeled on Washington State’s Zackery Lystedt Law, Briggs' legislation would require that a high school or junior high school athlete suspected of having sustained a concussion or brain injury would be removed from play until cleared by a medical professional properly trained in concussion management. Additionally, the Safety in Youth Sports Act would require athletes and their parents or guardians to annually sign an information sheet on concussion and head injury prior to the student participating in practice or competition.

"The Tenth Inning" Documentary Depicts Issues of Doping in Baseball
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Last week, PBS premiered “The Tenth Inning,” a new, two-part documentary which depicts the tumultuous history of baseball, including the issues of performance-enhancing drugs, from the early 1990s to present day.

According to the film’s website, “the film highlights dramatic developments that transformed the game: the crippling 1994 strike that left many fans disillusioned with their heroes; the increasing dominance of Latino and Asian players who turned baseball into a truly international game; baseball's skyrocketing profits, thanks to new stadiums, interleague play, and the wild card; the rise of a new Yankee Dynasty; the Red Sox' historic World Series victory; the astonishing feats of Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds; and the revelations about performance-enhancing drugs that cast a shadow on many of the era's greatest stars and their accomplishments.”

The documentary was directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick and picks up where Burns’ 1994 series “Baseball” left off. For more information on the documentary, visit the film’s webpage.

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Science & Research Update: Researchers Discover Protein Responsible for Regulating Body Fat and Bone Mass
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The ground-breaking discovery of “Sprouty,” a protein thought to be responsible for regulating body fat and bone mass, was announced by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB), a partner organization of ACSM, last month in their FASEB Journal.

Scientists from the Maine Medical Center Research Institute found that the more of this protein they found in transgenic mice, the leaner and stronger they were. Conversely, researchers found that when mice with low levels of the protein were made to express more if it, they lost weight and increased bone density. These finding suggest that targeting this protein could help solve issues of obesity and osteoporosis among humans. To read more about this cutting-edge discovery, please visit the FASEB website.

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Save the Date -- ACSM's Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition -- April 13-16, 2011
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Discover a new you and experience a fresh approach to the ACSM Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition this April in sunny Anaheim, California. New programming, keynote speakers, the hottest workouts and CECs will engage and motivate you to make a positive change in your clients’ lives. Registration information and housing information will be available later this month.

2011 Keynote Speakers
  • Wayne Westcott, Ph.D. – Resistance Exercise: Effects on Resting Metabolism, Body Composition and Weight Management
  • Kristina Ripatti & Tim Pearce – Getting Back in the Game
  • Barbara Drinkwater, Ph.D., FACSM – TBD
  • Michael Bracko, Ed.D., FACSM – Regular to Ripped: High Intensity Interval Training

Exercise and Science Headlines

Headlines include recent stories in the media on sports medicine and exercise science topics and do not reflect ACSM statements, views or endorsements. Headlines are meant to inform members on what the public is reading and hearing about the field.



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Tour Winner Contador Blames 'Food Contamination' for Positive Drug Test
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Three-time Tour de France champion Alberto Contador blamed contaminated steak Thursday for his positive doping test, vowing to clear his name and not let cycling's latest drug scandal "destroy everything that I have done."

The Spanish rider was provisionally suspended after a World Anti-Doping Agency lab in Germany found a "very small concentration" of the banned substance clenbuterol in his urine sample on July 21 at the Tour, according to a statement from cycling governing body UCI.

"It is a clear case of food contamination," Contador told a news conference in his hometown near Madrid, during which several times he appeared close to tears. "I am sad and disappointed but hold my head high."

Youth Football Begins Concussion Prevention Work
The Daily Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Youth football leagues are responding to warnings about the dangers of hard hits by offering new videos, coaching exams and other lessons about preventing and recognizing concussions - even though organizers believe their level of the sport is as safe as football gets.

There are an estimated 3 million kids ages 6 to 14 playing tackle football in the United States and longtime league administrators say the majority of players aren't big enough and don't hit hard enough to cause serious damage.

"It's really surprising how few (concussions) we've had," said Carolyn Stewart, a coach, board member or commissioner for nearly 20 years in the Dallas-area Spring Valley Athletic Association's football leagues. "I know of more from skateboards or falling off playground equipment."

Exercise Associated With Lower Rate of Fractures in Elderly Women
Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Home-based exercises followed by voluntary home training seem to be associated with long-term effects on balance and gait (manner of walking), and may help protect high-risk, elderly women from hip fractures, according to a report in the September 27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

"Falls are responsible for at least 90 percent of all hip fractures," the authors write as background in the article. "Hip fractures place the greatest demands on resources and have the greatest effect on patients because they are associated with high mortality rates and increased morbidity." Raija Korpelainen, Ph.D., of Oulu Deaconess Institute, Oulu, Finland, and colleagues performed an extended follow-up of 160 women who participated in a randomized trial aimed at reducing risk factors for fractures in elderly women with osteopenia (a reduction in bone mass, or low levels of bone calcium).
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