NEW YORK, NY (January 30, 2014) -- After reports that Commissioner Roger Goodell said the NFL would consider allowing athletes to use marijuana to treat concussions if medical experts deemed it a legitimate solution, Harry Kerasidis, M.D., medical director of XLNTbrain, LLC says there’s not enough data showing a connection between using marijuana and aiding concussion recovery.
“When the brain is concussed, it’s struggling to regain its chemistry and electrolyte balance, as well as repairing the cell membranes,” said Dr. Kerasidis , who has treated hundreds of concussions over his 25 years studying the effects of concussions on cognitive behaviors. “Adding a substance that interferes with the repair and recovery process may have detrimental effects. Although the research suggests a neuro-protective effect of cannabinoid receptor activation in brain trauma induced inflammatory models, we are far from extrapolating that medical marijuana is a safe and effective method of treating humans with post-concussion syndrome.”
Dr. Kerasidis is in New York this week introducing XLNTbrain Sport , the first complete concussion management program for all sports and levels which includes a 5-Step Progressive Exertion recovery plan to help guide athletic trainers and athletes back to normal activity and gameplay safely.
Although he has never prescribed medical marijuana for treating concussions, he recognizes that it has been used for treating symptoms due to migraines, multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions.
“Before prescribing medical marijuana for concussions, I’d need to see scientific double-blind, placebo-controlled studies measuring the short and long-term recovery effects,” said Kerasidis. “For concussion-related headaches, I suggest taking an anti-inflammatory agent, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, until the athlete is symptom free. If the symptoms continue, then the athlete may have a mild traumatic brain injury requiring different treatment protocols that may include prescription drugs or nutraceuticals.”
Dr. Kerasidis compares a concussion to a ‘brain sprain’ requiring rest, and the following 5 tips for recovery:
Finally, Dr. Kerasidis says to avoid toxins, such as drinking alcohol, and smoking -- “we are not yet sure where the marijuana comes in” -- which can delay the healing process.
About XLNTbrain, LLC
XLNTbrain, LLC provides the first complete sports concussion management program for all sports and levels. Based in National Harbor, Maryland, XLNTbrain assists health professionals with a fully-integrated concussion management program designed to help prevent, detect and protect concussions, guiding athletes safely back to normal activity and gameplay. More information is available at www.xlntbrain.com and by calling (855) 333-XLNT (9568).