Dispelling Myths About Head Injuries: An Impactful Look at Sport-Related Concussion
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Credit Offered
1.5 CME Credits
1.5 COP Credits

Over the past decade there has been a growing awareness regarding the impact that concussion can have on an athlete. Indeed, the scope of the problem is tremendous with and estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million sport-related concussions (SRC) occurring per year. Although the medical community has been steadily uncovering the short and long-term effects of this type of injury, there remains a great deal to learn. Misconceptions regarding SRC remain extremely common and misinformation is widely spread. While there has been a substantial amount of media attention given to SRC, not all the information conveyed has been accurate and high-profile cases of SRC only add to the confusion. This presentation aims to elucidate some of the complexities regarding mental health and concussion in athletes as this demographic is particularly vulnerable to concussion. Studies have demonstrated a risk for depressive and other mental health symptoms following SRC. Sleep symptoms are common, as are migraine and other somatic symptoms. Research also suggests that a baseline personal and/or family history of mental health symptoms predisposes individuals who have experienced a concussive injury to prolonged recovery, as well as mental health symptoms during that period. The diagnosis of mental health symptoms and disorders associated with SRC can be challenging as there are no concussion-specific mental health rating scales. Additionally, differentiating between preexisting pathology and concussion related sequelae can be very complicated. We will provide a brief overview of the epidemiology, risk factors, neuropathology and clinical presentation of concussion in athletes. Then, we will concentrate on the detection and monitoring of sport-related concussion, acute and long-term management with an emphasis on pharmacotherapy, mental health symptoms associated with concussions, and strategies for how to talk to families about sport-related concussion in a sensitive way that helps them understand the road to recovery. Importantly, we will emphasize the role mental health providers should have in the treatment of sport-related concussion. Throughout our presentation, we plan to incorporate interactive elements including the usage of PollEverywhere to survey audience members for their opinions/thoughts on particular sport-related concussion topics, present case-based discussions that encourage audience members to voice how they would tackle the case, and leave ample time at the end of the session for a questions and answers session with the presenters.

**This content was captured at the 2020 APA On Demand product and may reference information from various sources and terminology from previous editions of the DSM.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the epidemiology, risk factors, clinical presentation, biomechanics and neurochemistry of sport-related concussion.
  • Understand the available medical and behavioral treatments for sport-related concussion, with a focus on the domains of mood symptoms, sleep disturbance, cognitive disturbance, and headache.
  • Discuss the risk factors and demographics for persistent post-concussive symptoms in the athlete and associated prolonged recovery.
  • Provide effective ways to educate patients and families about sport-related concussion.
  • Illustrate general misconceptions about sport-related concussion and effective ways to talk to athletes, parents, and coaches about this condition.

Target Audience


Estimated Time to Complete

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes
Begin Date: December 1, 2021
End Date: December 1, 2024

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 Credit ™ or a certificate of participation may do so by completing all sections of the course including the evaluation. After evaluating the program, course participants will be provided with an opportunity to claim hours of participation and print an official CME certificate (physicians) or certificate of participation (non-physicians) showing the completion date and hours earned. 

Continuing Education Credit

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The APA designates this enduring CME activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Faculty and Planner Disclosures

Program Presenters

  • Aaron Jeckell, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Village at Vanderbilt. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Vuong Vu, M.D., Physician, Adult & Sports Psychiatry, Hillsboro Clinic. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests

Program Planners

  • Tristan Gorrindo, M.D., Former Director of Education, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Katie Putnam, Membership Development Specialist, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.
  • Ally Brown, M.S., Associate Director, Online Learning, American Psychiatric Association. Reports no financial relationships with commercial interests.

Accessibility for Participants with Disabilities

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Technical Requirements

This internet-based CME activity is best experienced using any of the following:

  • The latest and 2nd latest public versions of Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari
  • Internet Explorer 11+

This Web site requires that JavaScript and session cookies be enabled. Certain activities may require additional software to view multimedia, presentation, or printable versions of the content. These activities will be marked as such and will provide links to the required software. That software may be: Adobe Acrobat Reader, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Windows Media Player.

Optimal System Configuration:

  • Browser: Google Chrome (latest and 2nd latest version), Safari (latest and 2nd latest version), Internet Explorer 11.0+, Firefox (latest and 2nd latest version), or Microsoft Edge (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Operating System: Windows versions 8.1+, Mac OS X 10.5 (Leopard) +, Android (latest and 2nd latest version), or iOS/iPad OS (latest and 2nd latest version)
  • Internet Connection: 1 Mbps or higher

Minimum Requirements:

  • Windows PC: Windows 8.1 or higher; 1 GB (for 32-bit)/2 GB (for 64-bit) or higher RAM; Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM driver; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content
  • Macintosh: Mac OS X 10.5 or higher with latest updates installed; Intel, PowerPC G5, or PowerPC G4 (867MHz or faster) processor; 512 MB or higher RAM; audio playback with speakers for programs with video content

For assistance: Contact educme@psych.org for questions about this activity | Contact learningcenter@psych.org for technical assistance

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