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 John J. Leddy and patient

Clinicians can best predict adolescent patients’ recovery time from concussion by assessing their exercise tolerance and administering a brief exam, says John J. Leddy.

Leddy Receives National Award for Research on Concussion in Teens

Published June 14, 2016

John J. Leddy, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedics, has received the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine’s (AMSSM) Best Overall Research Award for determining predictors of recovery from concussion in adolescents.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for this award, but the real winners will be the young athletes who can benefit from the research findings.”
Clinical professor of orthopaedics

Leddy found that exercise intolerance — the threshold of physical activity at which physical symptoms increase — is a key clinical indicator of the severity of a teen’s concussion when the patient is assessed soon after injury.

Assessing Exercise Tolerance to Gauge Recovery Time

A systematic assessment of exercise tolerance a week or so after injury is the best predictor of a teen’s recovery time from concussion, according to Leddy’s research.

Leddy also found that a brief examination of a patient’s eyes, neck and balance provides vital information on how well he or she will recover and how long it will take.

Adolescents are most vulnerable to concussions and take the longest time to recover, he noted.

Adolescent Athletes Stand to Gain from Research

Leddy presented his study, titled “Predictors of Recovery in Adolescents with Acute Sports-Related Concussion,” at the annual AMSSM meeting in April.

“I’m honored to have been chosen for this award, but the real winners will be the young athletes who can benefit from the research findings,” he said.

“We have learned much over the years about the causes, evaluation and treatment of concussions, but there is still much more work to be done.”

Team Approach Benefits Concussion Patients

Leddy and co-investigator Barry S. Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry, are internationally known for their research into the best ways to diagnose and treat concussion, especially in adolescents.

A physician with UBMD Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine, Leddy is medical director of the UB Concussion Management Clinic.

“Our team of physicians, neuropsychologists and other specialists has developed a holistic approach to both treatment and recovery — and we will continue to work on behalf of patients everywhere,” he said.