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Old 11-28-2018, 05:46 PM
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Default Athletes with neurologic disease

Handbook of Clinical Neurology
Chapter 41 - Athletes with neurologic disease

Authors Andrew Guidry, Kevin Crutchfield


Neurologic disease does not discriminate, even among athletes. Common neurologic diseases among athletes include multiple sclerosis, seizures, headaches, and sleep disorders. Although concrete guidelines for sport participation among athletes with neurologic diseases do not exist, evidence-based and consensus statements can aid healthcare providers in determining whether and to what extent such athletes should participate in sports. Moreover, sport participation is important, since multiple studies indicate that exercise improves disease-specific symptoms, manifestations, and overall quality of life.

Although some risk is involved for athletes with neurologic disease, risk is mitigated with proper supervision and neurologic oversight, disease-specific accommodations, and counseling of the athletic staff and the athletes. Neurologic oversight entails an initial comprehensive neurologic assessment by a neurologist followed by regular follow-up. Preparation for environmental conditions encountered by athletes with neurologic disease will further improve safety during their participation in sport.

With sound recommendations, neurologic oversight, and proper supervision, most athletes with neurologic disease can participate in athletics. The health benefits that they will gain from participation in athletics outweigh the risks.
Dave Bexfield
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