UB studying new way to treat concussions

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — If you suffer from a concussion, it’s recommend that patients rest for a prolonged period of time and limit their physical exertion.

A doctor at the University at Buffalo says you should rest, but patients need to get active as well.

Dr. John Leddy, the medical director of UB’s Concussion Management Clinic is conducting a clinical trial to see if there’s a new way to treat the traumatic brain injury.

“Initially everybody should rest right after they have a concussion. Sometimes that’s for a few days or maybe a little longer than that. However, at a certain point they should not rest anymore. They should start to become more active,” Dr. Leddy, a UBMD sports medicine physician said.

He recommends that patients should introduce low level exercise, like stretching or aerobics after they rest. However, how much someone does, depends on their prescription.

“It’s really a dose of medication. A dose of exercise based on the heart rate that we measure,” he said. “They are not supposed to exceed that heart rate. If they do, they could makes themselves worse. That’s why we don’t just tell people to go and do exercise, because it’s not controlled that way. It isn’t a proper dose.”

The clinical trial, which is also being conducted with the University of Manitoba, began in November. The goal is to enroll 40 student athletes between the ages of 12-18, who have concussions.

“It’s really a comparison of the two types of low level exercise, aerobic exercise or stretching. They will be randomly assigned to one of those.”

The trial focuses on adolescents because they are the most at risk for concussions.

“Our goal is to get patients back to their activity as quickly and as safely as possible.”

Dr. Leddy is looking for middle and high school students in Western New York to participate in the clinical trial. If you think your child has recently suffered from a concussion, you can contact UB’s Concussion Management Clinic at 716-829-5499.

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