AMSSM Statement Regarding Release of New Film, Concussion

AMSSM Statement Regarding Release of New Film, Concussion

The new film Concussion follows the story of Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic neuropathologist who made the first discovery of what is now known as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), progressive degenerative disease of the brain found in persons with a history of repetitive brain trauma such as a concussion.

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) continues to be a leader in the areas of research and education of sports-related concussions, often sharing best practices and ideas with other professionals and thought-leaders nationwide and around the world. In 2008, AMSSM welcomed
Dr. Omalu to its 17th Annual Meeting held in Las Vegas, NV, where he presented a feature lecture titled “The Link Between the Field and Dementia”. His presentation provided information on CTE from a historical perspective and discussed how this condition could be induced by participating in sports like American football.

In 2012, AMSSM released a position statement titled “Concussion in Sport.” Included in the report was a section on the long term sequel of concussions, reviewing the current state of the evidence and advocating for long term epidemiological studies.  It also included a recommendation that healthcare professionals apply an individualized approach to the diagnosis and care management of sports concussion, as the severity of injury and an individual’s risk factors vary from athlete to athlete.

Written by a team of 10 experts in the diagnosis and treatment of concussion, many of whom are team physicians, the statement was intended for sports medicine physicians who are specially trained to provide sports concussion care from the acute injury to return-to play.

Kimberly Harmon, MD, lead author, Head Football Team Physician for the University of Washington and Past AMSSM president, said that the vast majority of those with concussion will not go on to develop chronic traumatic encephalopathy, however, concussive symptoms need to be taken seriously and evaluated by a medical professional knowledgeable in the diagnosis and management of concussion.   She points out that there are a variety of tests to help physicians determine the diagnosis in sports concussion; however, one of the most valuable factors is the physician’s comprehensive knowledge of the individual athlete. Harmon said, “It’s important that whoever works most regularly with the athlete reviews his or her treatment along with the athlete’s history, behavior and risk factors to figure out the best person-centered care plan.”

As the community becomes more educated about the topic, AMSSM will continue to offer tips on concussion evaluation and treatment to athletes, coaches and parents via resources like,, AMSSM’s patient-focused website. With the release of the film, new attention will be drawn to the topic of concussion. AMSSM experts Kimberly Harmon, MD; First Vice President Matthew Gammons, MD and President Jon Divine, MD will be available to answer any media inquiries. 

Media requesting an interview with either physician should contact Tekia Thompson, communications manager, at 913-327-1415 or [email protected].

To learn more about concussion safety, treatment, return to play and more, visit to view the Concussion Tip Sheet.

Visit to view the AMSSM Imaging Recommendations for Concussions.

Click to view the AMSSM Concussion in Sport Position Statement.

AMSSM is a multi-disciplinary organization of 3,000 sports medicine physicians dedicated to education, research, advocacy and the care of athletes of all ages. The majority of AMSSM members are primary care physicians with fellowship training and added qualification in sports medicine who then combine their practice of sports medicine with their primary specialty. AMSSM includes members who specialize solely in non-surgical sports medicine and serve as team physicians at the youth level, NCAA, NFL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS and NHL, as well as with Olympic teams. By nature of their training and experience, sports medicine physicians are ideally suited to provide comprehensive medical care for athletes, sports teams or active individuals who are simply looking to maintain a healthy lifestyle.



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