PSTM Conference 2019 – Summary #7

Over the following days, I will briefly go over some of the lectures at this year’s PSTM conference in Wroclaw. These short articles will not be exhaustive summaries but rather a collection of bullet points on the most important concepts and ideas (in my opinion). Today, I cover Dr. Jacek Feldman’s lecture on brain damage in contact sports and neuroprotection in sport. Contact sport athletes are at a higher risk of neuro degenerative diseases. Concussions can be provoked by trauma to the head, but also other body parts. No change visible in MRI or CT after concussion. The clinical symptoms are totally different than drugs, disease, etc. Glasgow coma scale used to determine severity. Anything above 13 on the GacS is considered a light concussion. The Scat5- sports concussion assessment tool can be used to monitor athletes. Concussed athletes should immediately be removed from sports events.
80 to 90 % of combat sport athletes return to full health in < 2 weeks after concussion, the remaining 10% may take months. Most combat sport athletes return to training after a couple days. This means a risk of second impact syndrome. That can in turn lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Brain genotype plays a big role in CTE risk. Headgear does not protect from concussion. Older athletes are at a higher risk. Female athletes recover slower and worse from TBI than Male athletes. Dehydration increases risk of TBI. Therefore, athletes should check weight and urine color.
Diet may have a neuroprotective function. Omega 3 fatty acids, secondary plant compounds in cacao and coffee, etc are beneficial. DASH and MIND diets seem to be good. Commonality is high amount of olive oil. 2g of DHA / day seems most beneficial during times of hard sparring, 250mg otherwise. Creatine can also help reduce TBI incidence.  Up to 0.4g / kg BW have been used in clinical studies with no adverse effects. NAC 3-4g has been shown to improve recuperation. Curcumin, is neuroprotective and can help with conversion from ala to dha. Bad bio availability, though. Take in combination with piperine.  Much more education for athletes is needed. Tomorrow I will release the next summary, so stay tuned. So long, don’t get hurt.