High school athletes could have higher brain damage risk from concussions

Concussion education

CHRISTIANSBURG (WSLS 10) – Doctors say high school athletes may have a greater risk than adults of getting brain damage from a concussion.

LewisGale is working to make sure those athletes know what they are up against. Doctors are meeting with athletes from all four Montgomery County high schools Saturday to offer concussion training to them and their families.

They will perform what they call a baseline test on students. The test will go through a series of cognitive, memory and balance exercises. Then, if an athlete gets hit in the head, they can perform the test again to compare results. That allows doctors to more accurately diagnose a concussion.

Research shows some of the long term effects of repetitive concussions can be depression and early onset dementia.

The concussion testing, along with sports physicals, will happen May 14 at LewisGale Hospital Montgomery Outpatient Department. Christiansburg High School athletes are scheduled to be seen from 8 a.m. to noon. Eastern Montgomery High School students will go from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Auburn and Blacksburg high schools are scheduled from 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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