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Vestibulo-Oculomotor lab Zürich

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“Swiss Concussion Project”- Improvement of “Return to Play” after head injuries in professional football players

The "Swiss Concussion Project" is a collaboration of the University and University Hospital Zurich, the Schulthess Clinic, FIFAs Medical Assessment and Research Centre (F-MARC) and the Swiss Football Association. The primary objective is to offer an optimized and individualized diagnostic and therapeutic management to football players following a head impact event with respect to an early but safe Return to play (RTP) and, to identify football players who might be at an increased risk of a prolonged course at an early stage.

A differentiation between a brain injury (including concussion) and labyrinthine injury (as e.g. Commotio labyrinthi with benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) has relevant influence on recovery time and thus, on Return to Play (RTP). While some rest is required after a concussion according to the current RTP guidelines, an immediate return to training and a specific vestibular therapy are recommended in cases of impairment of the vestibular system.

Before the start of the season 2014/2015 approximately 500 professional football players of the higest league in Switzerland (male and female) performed a neurological and neuropsychological examination and laborative testing of the equilibrium system and of eye movement. In the case of a head impact event during the season, the players were compared with their own baseline.

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