Local Conference Discusses Sports-Related Concussions

Updated: 04/11/2013 7:00 PM KSTP.com By: Jennie Olson

From the NFL to high school sports, head injuries are a hot topic and an increasing concern for athletes and parents.

More than 100,000 Minnesotans suffer from brain injuries; a conference was hosted Thursday to discuss how to lower those numbers.

One of the speakers at the conference is a Luverne High School senior who, while playing football and wrestling his sophomore year, suffered three concussions in four months.

Jake Guy shared how the concussions impacted his life before he started getting help.

“It was hard for me because I had to stay away from family and stuff because of noise and light sensitivity,” he said. “I had memory problems and processing speed problems.”

The discussion is part of the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance 28th Annual Conference in Brooklyn Center. One of the main focuses this year is sports-related concussions because they account for 20 percent of all brain injuries.

“For those kids struggling with this, reach out and get as much help as you can and don't look down on the situation,” Guy said.

Each year in the United States there are at least 50,000 concussions in high school athletes; even more go unreported.

“Ninety percent of concussions do not involve a loss of consciousness, and I think that's part of the past where people felt like if you didn't lose consciousness, likely you didn't have a concussion,” David King with the Minnesota Brain Injury Alliance said. “We know that's not true.”