The history of post-concussion protocol

In 1964 professor Dembo of the Leningrad Medical School proposed a biomarker to diagnose concussions and to assess normality of brain functions. In addition he proposed a hands-on protocol for rehabilitation from post-concussion encephalopathies.  This discovery was preceded by somewhat tragic event.  In 1963 one very famous boxer, two time Olympic Champion, Valeri Popenchenko, 24 hours after winning the Soviet Union championship, lost consciousness.  What, probably, triggered the loss of consciousness was a graduate buildup of cerebral-spinal fluid that created a significant pressure.  At the moment, the “rest and time” cure was also accepted in the Soviet medicine and neurology. So Valeri was prescribed a two week rest, after which his immediate concussion symptoms disappeared.  Notably, Valeri was not only an excellent boxer, but also a PHD physicist.  He noticed that while coming back to the laboratory, he couldn’t focus. He related this complaint to his physician, who at the time happened to be Professor Dembo.


Professor Dembo was not only Valeri’s physician, but also a famous academician, an authority in sports medicine, neurology and massage therapy.  He started investigating further this complaint and attributed Valeri’s condition to the consequences of his post- concussion brain dysfunction.


After substantial research, Professor Dembo’s team discovered that the biomarker to diagnose the process of development of encephalopathies, after disappearance of immediate concussion symptoms. Such biomarker was irregularities of autonomic activities. These irregularities were expressed in jumping blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, etc. These irregularities were established with the series of tests.

Once professor Dembo made this discovery, he stopped Valeri’s training regimen and started the treatment.  Little by little, within the six month from that moment, the protocol for a post-concussion rehabilitation was established.  Having underwent the treatment protocol, Valeri Popenchenko condition has improved tremendously.  His focus was restored and he could successfully come back to both boxing and scientific work.

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