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Loyola Medicine Opens New Program For Concussed Athletes

CHICAGO (CBS) – Loyola University Medical Center hopes to make concussion examinations an easier process with a new program.

State law now requires student athletes to be check out by a doctor after a concussion, WBBM's Nancy Harty reports.

Loyola Medicine in Maywood has set up a new concussion program that takes a cue from the NFL, bringing together several specialists to assess and properly treat each situation.

"Not only does the team doctor and athletic trainer evaluate them," said Dr. Nathaniel Jones, Loyola Sports Medicine Specialist. "They now have an independent neurologist to evaluate all possible concussed athletes. I think we realized we need a team approach."

The program he said will include seven to eight different doctors working together in a clinic, to come up with tailored and unified treatment plans, specially designed around each patient.

Jones said the program's idea is to have a neurologist addressing headaches, a physical therapist looking at dizziness, and an occupational therapist reviewing vision problems.

"Some folks struggle more with balance issues," Dr. Jones said. "Some struggle with dizziness. Some struggle with neck pain and headaches."

With multiple doctors with different specialties, the program hopes to better evaluate and treat concussed athletes.

The research on concussions is still evolving, Dr. Jones said, showing that students should return to class and engage in some form of exercise sooner than originally expected, to help them recover.

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