Abbotsford student-athlete affected by concussions - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Abbotsford student-athlete affected by concussions

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ABBOTSFORD (WAOW)--As current discussion over a bill regulating student-athlete concussion standards heats up, one area student-athlete describes how head injuries have affected her on the court and in the classroom.

Riley Standeven knows first hand about the serious effects of brain injuries. The junior at Abbotsford High School has suffered from three concussions in the last five years. She says the most recent one was the worst.

"I notice the headaches become stronger afterwards, they last longer," Standeven said.

Standeven returned for her first full day back to class this week. But she is still not allowed to compete for the rest of the season.

"It's hard, for being the athlete that I am. I want to be in the game more than anything, so it's hard to sit there," Standeven said.

This normally straight A student says she's seen her grades suffer.

"I notice it the most with memory, like on tests and quizzes is probably the biggest thing, and I missed a lot of school," said Standeven.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the number of concussions seen in emergency rooms has increased by 60 percent over the last decade. And like Standeven, area doctors say athletes may see long-term effects as well.

"There's many concern, especially pro-athletes of developing premature dementia developing when they get into their late 40s/early 50s," Dr. Laurel Rudolph, Medical Director with Marshfield Clinic's Sports Medicine Department said.

Area doctors say your best defense is staying educated.

"The games have become bigger, faster, stronger. I think the reality is the concussions were always there, we're just more aware of them," Rudolph said.

And as for Standeven, she hopes to return to her other sport of volleyball in the fall.

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WIAA LINKS:

http://www.wiaawi.org/index.php?id=430

Online Reporter: Cassandra Vinch

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