Kids and Concussion

Dr. James Kinderknecht on the differences between an adult's and child's brain.
6:26 | 11/30/11

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Transcript for Kids and Concussion
A new study in the January 2012 issue of pediatrics -- indicating that sports related concussions could Alter blood flow to a child brain. For more than a month. And the study indicates there is a significant difference between the way an adult brain -- child's brain responds to an injury of this nature. Joining us now is doctor James -- -- sports medicine physician at the Hospital for Special Surgery. After connect thanks so much for being here -- think you tell us first of all what a concussion is simply because there -- some confusion -- That's very clearly and this saved simply that's and I have a misnomer but. You know -- who live times that he relates to -- the biggest. Areas that the lawsuit -- consciousness. Is you have to have that have a concussion and that's clearly falls. So it's an altered alteration and brain. -- now let's and that's manifested itself with confusion. -- -- Dizziness and different symptoms that you don't lose consciousness how does the laymen know whether or not -- -- You know a lot of times it's more this kind of stunned type of response. Things are computing -- a two eight and the way -- described -- patience is. It's like your desktop -- interfered with -- doesn't mess with your hard drive. But you it's like a power surge to your desktop so you may lose all the data that was on your desktop and -- data will never get into your hard drive so it's just. Kind of a transient response to trauma. And really we're trying to get to the bottom. What really happens what did isn't it isn't a structural things so it's not something we -- -- cat -- -- samurai is a visual thing I can see a fracture a ligament -- anything I -- that even go to the -- and I suspect that had a concussion and they can't even tell you definitively whether -- well assuming it's not that hard to diagnose. Ensued because the if you ask direct questions -- -- individuals -- forthright in their answers that's one of the challenges we have with a lot of people. Vickie this symptoms will bear through so it's usually a transient thing but a lot of times when I'm. Covering games in covering these high school games it won't be the individual coming to me saying -- had a concussion will be their teammates stand. Hey John he's not acting right he's not phone plays varieties act a little funny. And I would that's probably the more common scenario when. Well what else he pointed out yeah it is not obvious sometimes to -- individual and so what's this mean for children -- this study shows that apparently a concussion have a different effect on its. Interesting study in the sense it's. We've always known. In terms of response to to trauma -- and -- pediatric dangerous and -- in their their differences. Now -- gets it is a state that may shed some line into may need some of the differences because what they're finding is not been found win win the adult -- -- been -- -- -- smaller study there's a little bit of variability in terms of the response and but they really may -- on -- something we've looked at different. Pathways in different fancy MRI is different fancy imaging studies that that may -- Pick up these subtle differences so it does it seem like the blood flow is impaired or longer -- a -- -- her passion well. Again it's small town dollars so -- is denying you targeted -- to extrapolate that but it does look like there's some alterations in blood flow. And -- -- about this guy is those individuals were feeling better meaning there headaches for -- they're dizziness was better. In the worst doing fine on there what's called her cognitive tests which is -- function how the brain performing. At the same time it took their blood flows -- couple weeks longer to to return back to normal that's frightening. -- its -- that question of wind is a brain recover and in. So what are the long term implications of family -- for children at the very serious question I would ask you quickly about helmets though because. A lot of parents have kids at play sports and they assume my child always wears a helmet so he should be safe from any kind of head injury and you say that's -- stroke nine fact. The better we make the home of the the it may be we may be. Promoting concussions -- mean it's not them contact it's not the amount of force but it's the way that -- response the force. Typically in a twisting sort of -- So there's no threshold number that you can say take this number produces a concussion this number doesn't away. At times a helmet can make a concussion -- and here's the deal it's not that the helmet itself does but. The athletes typically don't look at the -- is being a point of protection and defensive type of thing that they use -- as a -- that clearly it's the tip of the spear. It's a tip of the spear the better we protect their head the better -- protective face. The more willing they're union is willing to -- head is a leading point of contact. Which is really become a big emphasis on -- the rules. -- points of emphasis on rules. With the all of this attention is being shed on this issue no clearly serious incidents sports are broken down into three categories when it comes to. Injury of this sort you have the contact sports correct -- correct -- collisions boards correct and the non contact sport correct so. You know you get asked okay what sports are most likely to have concussions -- and sea -- nine contact in the swimming in the running. That's fine they needed evening news you. Go into the context -- you're talking basketball and soccer and you go into the collision sports like football and hockey. -- it is clearly. The more collision in the more velocity in the more likely that a contact them in the -- danger you hitting your head playing football is is probably a 100% because that's the design of the game and you -- with a lot of athletes a lot of students and parents what advice do you give them. Well I think it's good news is. We there's a huge increase concern and awareness but they are rare and they mostly time -- recover with no issues so that's good the good news is what were trying to make sure is that. Then that individual that is can -- doesn't go back out to play until the recovery because the biggest. Longer term double whammy -- I don't question right by far can connect thank you so much for talking with us today my pleasure thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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