Summarized by Dr. Ally Ferber, MD

February 2024

The article talks about athletes who experience a concussion while playing sports. A concussion is a type of brain injury that can happen when the head is hit hard or moves very quickly. This impact can lead to changes in how the brain works, affecting the cells (neurons) and causing different symptoms.

The article focuses on symptoms related to the vestibular-ocular-motor (VOM) system and how they impact an athlete’s return to sports and school performance. The VOM system involves balance, vision, and movement. If this system is disrupted, it can cause issues like dizziness, nausea, blurred vision, and difficulty reading.

Testing for problems in the VOM system isn’t common yet, but the article suggests it could be helpful. Using a screening tool to identify athletes with balance, vision, and movement issues, they found that those with symptoms in this system took longer to recover, had more severe symptoms, missed more school, and needed more time overall to get better.

In summary, using the VOM screening tool in the first two weeks after a sports-related concussion might help doctors identify athletes with specific issues. This can give athletes and their families an idea of how long the recovery might take, when they can return to sports, and when they can go back to school. It also allows doctors to recommend specific exercises to help athletes heal better.