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Michael Collins, Ph.D.

UPMC Media Relations 

​CDC Announces Updated Information to Help Physicians Recognize and Manage Concussions Early

UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program provides expertise to update multimedia tool kit to improve early diagnosis

ATLANTA, June 7, 2007 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is announcing the revision to the multimedia educational tool kit for physicians, Heads Up: Brain Injury in Your Practice, to help provide earlier diagnosis, management and appropriate referral for patients with concussion.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Sports Medicine Concussion Program in collaboration with the CDC, as well as experts from various organizations contributed to this project.

One of the key components in the revised kit is the Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) assessment tool which can help physicians with their initial evaluation and diagnosis of patients of all ages with a known or suspected concussion.

Concussions or mild traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) are caused by a bump or blow to the head that disrupts the way the brain normally works. In the United States, at least 1.4 million people are treated in a hospital or emergency department with a TBI each year. Of those, 75 to 90 percent are categorized as mild TBIs. Many concussions are not treated and CDC experts estimate that 1.6 to 3.8 million sports and recreation-related TBIs occur each year in the United States.

A concussion is often a misunderstood injury because its symptoms are not always straightforward. I see daily in my clinic that no two concussions are alike and the injurys effects and recovery period are different in each individual. That is why education for both patients and doctors about proper management is essential, said Michael (Micky) Collins, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist who is the assistant director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, and a key contributor to the Heads Up tool kit for physicians.

Nationwide we are seeing that concussions are too often under-diagnosed and poorly managed. We are concerned about that because a concussion is a brain injury and if it is not diagnosed and given time to heal properly, it could lead to further injury and more serious long-term problems, stressed Dr. Collins, who works with many teams in Major League Baseball and is a neuropsychological consultant to US Lacrosse, USA Rugby and hundreds of high schools and colleges nationwide.

We have gained a tremendous amount of scientifically based knowledge about safe concussion management in just the last few years alone. It is crucial that physicians keep up to date on the latest information and tools to accurately diagnose and help manage this injury. I applaud the CDC for spearheading this much-needed nationwide educational campaign, added Dr. Collins.

The tool kit also contains practical, easy-to-use clinical information and tools:

  • The Facts for Physicians booklet

  • Fact Sheets in English and Spanish on preventing concussion

  • A palm card for on-field management of sports-related concussion

  • CD-ROM with downloadable kit materials and additional MTBI resources

The Heads Up: Brain Injury in Your Practice tool kit can be ordered and downloaded free-of-charge online at For more information about concussions, traumatic brain injury, or injury in general, visit the CDC Injury Centers website at


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Medical information made available on is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

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