Sports Medicine Research Highlighted at International Concussion Conference

An Albany Medical Center sports medicine expert recently presented his department’s concussion research at an international conference held in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

The sixth International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport was held Oct. 27-28 and was sponsored by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), the Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI), World Rugby (WR), the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF), and the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA).

Hamish Kerr, MD, Sports Medicine Fellowship Program Director and Professor of Medicine & Pediatrics, was the lead author for a five-year study focusing on how to more accurately predict an athlete’s safe return to competition following a sports-related concussion.

With multidisciplinary support across clinical areas, the study enrolled 207 Capital Region athletes, age 10 to 26. The purpose of the study was to develop a better understanding of the differences between an athlete ready to return to sports after a concussion, and one who is still recovering and at increased risk for re-injury.

“The conference in Amsterdam brought together experts to present new research focusing on all aspects of concussions, including return-to-play protocols,” Dr. Kerr said. “We are proud to be one of the leaders in this global conversation about keeping athletes safe and ensuring that they are not returning to sports too quickly once they sustain a concussion.”

The research conducted by Dr. Kerr’s team highlighted the need for a multi-pronged quantitative assessment of an athlete before they return to action following their injury. That assessment, according to the research, can significantly reduce the chance for re-injury in the 12 months following the initial concussion to as low as 6.2%.

In addition, Dr. Kerr attended a two-day Medical Commission Conference on the topic of concussions funded and held by World Rugby, the sport’s largest international federation. Dr. Kerr is a tournament team physician for the federation and has led the medical team at major rugby competitions around the globe.