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MomsTEAM Presents Youth Safety Summit

4 Sep

It is approaching quickly, but if you are in the northeast a week from Monday you really should check into SmartTeams Play Safe™: Protecting the Health & Safety of the Whole Child In Youth Sports By Implementing Best Practices.  There is a myriad of topics to be included:

  • Sport-related concussion best practices
  • The evolving landscape of youth sports safety
  • Injury prevention strategies in youth sports
  • Reducing injury risk in youth football
  • Cognitive rest and return to learn
  • Gender influences on sport-related concussions and outcomes
  • Preventing sudden death in young athletes
  • Cost-effective youth sports injury prevention
  • Overuse injuries, early specialization, and burnout
  • Bullying, emotional and psychological injury prevention
  • InSideOut Coaching: transforming the lives of young athletes
  • Preventing sexual abuse of youth athletes
  • Role of game officials in injury prevention
  • The power of the permit in youth sports safety

The speaker list is studded with some very bright individuals including: Brian Hainline of the NCAA and Doug Casa of the Korey Stringer Institute at the University of Connecticut and many more.

The cost is $45.00 and looks to be well worth your time and money.  Click the above link for further information and registration.  Tell them The Concussion Blog sent ya!

The day-long event will take a holistic approach to youth sports safety which addresses not just a child’s physical safety, but emotional, psychological and sexual safety as well, and will show how, by following best practices, youth sports programs can stem the rising tide of injuries that have become an all-too-common and unfortunate by-product of today’s hyper-competitive, overspecialized, and over-commercialized youth sports environment.

Thanks Brooke for the press release…  The following is the media contact information:

Media Contact:

Sheila M. Green

Office: (617) 337-9514

Cell: (339) 224-3914

Email: sgreen@thecastlegrp.com

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Hit Count Symposium

16 Jun

If you have a son or daughter in Little League Baseball you probably have heard of a pitch count.  Basically it is a set number of pitches a pitcher can throw in a certain time period.  The reasoning seems simple and sound, in my opinion; to protect the overuse of the arm/elbow.  Sure, there are many coaches out there in the baseball world that know what they are doing and will only throw players when they are fully rested.  On the other hand there a plenty of coaches out there that either don’t know or knowingly put players at risk when it comes to overuse of the pitching arm.

This has a relation to the concussion world; well, Sports Legacy Institute hopes so.  In an effort to be PROACTIVE about issues surrounding concussions and especially the youth players of collision sports SLI has created an initiative to limit, log and research “hits” absorbed.  I have blogged about it here when the initiative began.

Like many things that are new and different, people often dismiss or fail to grasp what is being attempted or cannot see what may be accomplished by doing them.  In regards to the Hit Count, it to is simple; limit the number of hits one sustains while playing sports – collision sports to begin with.

I may not be the worlds biggest advocate for sensor technology as we currently know it, however this approach is different and unique.  It is something that should be paid attention to, if not for the currently proposed reasons, at the very least the research capability.  How can we know if we don’t know.  In other words; how can we measure if we are making a difference with any of our so-called “advances in concussion issues” if there is not something to measure it against.  For a small niche in the medical community that is all about “baselines” and return to “normal” our peers seem to get all squirmy when people want to find this baseline.

The Hit Count most likely will not be the panacea which our culture so desperately wants but this is at least a step in the right direction.  Below you can see the full press release on the Symposium.  I cannot attend on July 15th, but I have been afforded two (2) transferable registrations.  Please contact me if you will be in the area and are looking to attend.  Without further ado:

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For Immediate Release —Thursday, June 12, 2014

Media Contact: Chelsea McLeod (781) 262-3324 or cmcleod@sportslegacy.org

Sports Legacy Institute Announces 2014 Hit Count® Symposium to be Held on Tuesday, July 15, at the Boston University School of Medicine to Advance Discussion on Use of Head Impact Sensors in Sports to Prevent Concussions

Co-Chaired by Dr. Robert Cantu and Dr. Gerry Gioia, event will gather researchers, athletic trainers, coaches, parents, athletes, medical professionals, and administrators to explore how Hit Count® Certified sensors can be used to improve brain safety  Continue reading

Please Let This Be The Beginning: A Public Invitation

28 Apr

The blog began simply enough, making notice of information about concussion in a time when there was so much misunderstanding.  It turned into a cathartic exercise on how I have dealt with concussions as an athletic trainer – the good and the bad.  It has slowly morphed into a platform for change; not only concussions but the healthcare profession of athletic training, in particular at the secondary school level (high school).

Adolescent concussion is not only staggering in terms of exposure but in terms of mismanagement, the true problem in this concussion crisis, in my humble opinion.  I feel – biased – that athletic trainers not only can help with the management but with the overall “acceptance” of this brain injury as it relates to sports.  Because of those thoughts I have been openly and behind the scenes, clamoring for a way to get more AT’s in the high school.  Not just game-day ATC’s either, full-time and daily coverage for our most vulnerable.  The analogy still remains: would you send you kid to a public swimming pool without a life guard on duty?  Why would you send your kid to collision sports without an athletic trainer on duty?

Yes, this is being spurred on by the concussion issue at hand, but in reality an athletic trainer is SO MUCH MORE!  We deal with the mundane (common cold) to the emergent (cardiac arrest) when it comes to athletic or high school (dealing with situations during a school day) injuries.

I came across a tweet today from Rick Burkholder (@proatc), Head Athletic Trainer of the Kansas City Chiefs that is putting this into action.

The NFL is starting a grant process to place certified athletic trainers (ATC’s) into more high schools.  The monies are limited from what I can tell, but this is the start that I have been dreaming of for the past few years.

You can read the entire NFLF ATC Grant by clicking on the link to see all the details but here are the highlights: Continue reading

Arizona Concussion Conference – NEXT WEEK

14 Mar

AZ Concussion Conf.

I realize this is, kind of, short notice, but space remains for this good-looking concussion conference in Arizona, next week.  However;

The CACTIS Foundation and Banner Concussion Center present recognized thought leaders at the Third Annual Current Topics in Sports Medicine and Concussions 2014: The Essentials Saturday March 22nd in Scottsdale, AZ, at The Scottsdale Plaza Hotel.  The conference will increase awareness of the health risks to athletes, cover the importance of baseline evaluation in athletes, review assessment tools, and discuss best practices for managing patients with concussions.

You can REGISTER HERE.

The list of speakers is very diverse and has a “west coast” vibe to them, here are some of the presenters:

  • Christopher C. Giza, MD – UCLA
  • Stephen M. Erickson, MD – MLB Umpire Medical Services
  • Shelly Massingale, PT – Banner Concussion Center
  • Bridgett Wallace, DPT – Concussion Health
  • Charlie Shearer, OD – Consultant, Colorado Rockies

Continuing Education credits are provided through this learning opportunity, you can see the AGENDA HERE.

Hit Count® Has Come To Fruition

27 Jan

Prevention of concussion is a bit of an oxymoron; nothing we know about concussions can stop them from occurring while in action.  HOWEVER, there is one way to prevent concussions – limiting exposure to the collisions that create a concussion.  Moreover, research suggests – as well as observations – that being exposed to subconcussive hits can have detrimental effects on brain function.  The subconcussive hits may even predispose someone to getting a concussion later on; this is obvious if you look at the data we have collected on NFL concussion over the past four years, (305 concussions in weeks 1-9 vs. 377 concussions in weeks 10-17) greater than a 20% increase as the season wears on.

Sports Legacy Institute has announced a certification program to further the Hit Count® initiative during a press release during Super Bowl week in New York City, today (along with the SLI Hit Count White Paper – see link below press release);

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Sports Legacy Institute Launches Hit Count® Certification Program in Collaboration with Leading Concussion Experts and Head Sensor Device Companies to Make Contact Sports Safer

Using Hit Count® Certified Products to Monitor and Minimize Brain Trauma Could Eliminate 500 Million Head Impacts in Football a Year, with the Goal of Reducing Risk of Concussion and Long-Term Brain Damage

New York City – January 27, 2014 – The non-profit Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) announced a major advance in the effort to prevent concussions and brain damage in contact sports today with the launch of the Hit Count® certification program after two years of development, which was unveiled at a press conference at the 2014 Super Bowl Media Center in New York City.

Hit Count® builds on the progress that head sensor device companies have made in developing devices that can measure acceleration of the head. Current products used on the field are focused on  alerting coaches, medical professionals, and parents when a potential concussive impact occurs.

Inspired by Pitch Counts baseball, which set limits to the number of times a player throws from the  mound to prevent arm injury, Hit Count® Certified Devices will have a second function that measures and “Counts” impacts that exceed the Hit Count® Threshold, set by a committee of  leading scientists, with the goal of minimizing brain injury.

“Research using sensor devices has revealed that each year in the United States, there are over 1.5 billion impacts to the heads of youth and high school football players,” said Chris Nowinski, Founding Executive Director of SLI who launched the Hit Count® initiative in 2012 with SLI Medical Director Dr. Robert Cantu. “Most hits are unnecessary and occur in practice. By utilizing  Hit Count® certified products as a teaching tool for coaches and a behavior modification tool for athletes, we can eliminate over 500 million head impacts next season.”

Committee member Gerry Gioia, PhD, of Children’s National Medical Center and Continue reading

NOCSAE Advancing Testing?

27 Jan

Perhaps, pending a vote in June, new standards could be set to get a helmet NOCSAE certified.  The news comes as the research arm has come up with plans for a testing scenario for something beyond linear drops;

The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) board of directors has approved the development of a revised football helmet standard that will require helmets to limit certain concussion causing forces.

You can see the full NOCSAE Jan 24 Release by clicking on the link.

It has been a long while since the standards have changed, but the calls for including more “realistic” type of scenarios in place have been loud for some time.  Including your’s truly, who believe that the rotational and angular forces were woefully under represented in any sort of testing.  I have been told by one representative with vested interest in this that for years the issue has been that these type of tests were “not repeatable.”

If everyone can be on the same footing with this and these new ideas actually translate to the “real world” then I am all for it, no matter the cost.  However, if this is something that is pure window dressing and will not actually impact a change – if that is even possible – then we are wasting time and money.

#C4CT Concussion Summit Agenda Set

22 Jan

Brewer Sports International has set their agenda for the 2014 Concussion Summit in New York at the United Nations on January 29th.  You can view the full .pdf HERE.

Time is running short for your attendance but I can tell you that this meeting will be well worth the time and investment.  You can also catch some of the Super Bowl festivities during your time in The City (this guy will be).

I am excited to be on a speaking panel, but I am also excited to be typing away a live blog during the event.  I hope that my keystrokes don’t bother those in attendance too much!  Although I will be updating it live, I promise that I will not get every little nugget interesting to you, but I will capture the best I can.

You can register HERE.

As you might imagine there have been plenty of meetings presented to me while I will be there, but I am trying to figure out a spot where we can possibly have a meet up and discuss – stuff.

However, there is one meeting that I have yet to be invited to, but would gladly accept; a meeting with Mr. Goodell and the NFL.  This may be pleading here, but if anyone can make it happen I am open in the afternoon of the 28th!  Hahaha!

University of Oregon Novel Study

22 Jan

I found a very interesting email about research being done at the University of Oregon.  It was so well written I thought I would just place it on the blog…

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In what may be the first study of its kind, the University of Oregon’s Motion Analysis Laboratory released a fascinating and chilling new video that illustrates the dramatic effect a concussion can have on high school athletes’ ability to control balance while walking.

Using computer generated images from reflective markers worn by the subjects, the video shows the gaits of two high school students – one a healthy subject and the other a victim of a concussion from a helmet-to-helmet collision in football practice two days prior – to emphasize the poor control and balance of the concussed athlete.

The full study included 40 high school athletes – 20 who were diagnosed with a concussion from sports including football, soccer, volleyball and wrestling, and 20 similar healthy athletes – who were tested over a two-month period. The results showed that the concussed athletes had trouble maintaining balance and walking speed while also responding to auditory cues as long as two months following the concussion.

Research on concussion recovery time, like what is being done at the University of Oregon, may help improve safety and better pinpoint when it is safe for to return to field or court.

Return To Learn Conference

16 Jan

TINY FINALTime is running short for this conference as well, but I thought I would provide another opportunity for people to gain valuable information in the dynamic concussion issue.  A friend of the blog, Katherine Snedaker, is putting on a novel conference; based around the return to learn aspect of concussions.

NORWALK, JAN. 12, 2013 – Katherine Snedaker, MSW and Founder of Pink Concussions, an international social media organization focused on research and resources for female concussions from sports, accidents or military service, and SportsCAPP, a Concussion Education, Advocacy and Policy Group, has announced the dates for The Concussion Conference: Connecticut: Return to School THEN Return to Learn.

The Conference will take place on Thursday January 30th, 2014 at Chelsea Piers Connecticut in Stamford, and then repeat with the same format on Friday, January 31, 2014, at Quinnipiac  University School of Medicine in North Haven, CT.

To register, see http://www.TheConcussionConference.com and to follow on Twitter use #CTBrain.

The Concussion Conference will provide training sessions for school nurses, school staff, pediatricians, athletic trainers, and parents on how best to help children return to school and continue  to heal after concussions.

The Conference daytime training sessions will feature multiple national speakers including Brenda Eagan Brown who is co-author the new 2013 CDC Resource: Helping Students Recover from a Concussion: Classroom Tips for Teachers. Also presenting is Dr. Mike Lee, co-author of the newly issued American Academy of Pediatrics’ report, Returning to Learning Following a Concussion.

You can find the remainder of the Full Press Release HERE.

This event will be on the heels of the Brewer Sports International #C4CT Concussion Summit in NYC.  I wanted to be there as a presenter and as a friend, alas my duty as an athletic trainer will not allow me to do so.  I encourage people and press who have the time to make the Connecticut events as this is a new angle that Katherine is attempting.

In addition to Brenda Eagan Brown, attendees can listen to addresses from Alan Goldberger and TJ Quinn among others, you can find the speaker list HERE.

You can register for the conference HERE.

 

#C4CT Concussion Summit 2014

7 Jan

In a little over three weeks, Brewer Sports International (BSI) along with #C4CT (Coalition for Concussion Treatment) founding partner Amarantus BioScience will be hosting their 2nd Concussion Summit in New York, at the United Nations.  There have been many press releases on this event, and I have mentioned it a time or two on Twitter (and will continue).

Sure, there are many “summits” around concussions and head trauma – which is great as it keeps the dialog going – but few are populated by people with ideas on going forward.  Often, we find ourselves sitting, listening to bright people talk about what was done and can’t be done; rarely do we find the same bright people addressing the issues going forward.  Whether that be with tactical changes or with management or even the possibility of intervention with traumatic brain injury.

This edition of the #C4CT Summit on January 29, 2014 will hear from some people in many fields – you can see the current line-up HERE – focusing on the burgeoning topics of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), general neuroscience, pharmacology among other topics.

Interestingly enough, yours truly, was invited to sit on a panel and discuss how all of this information has been translated to the high school level – as an athletic trainer.  I was not only surprised by the invitation but feel it is VERY OPPORTUNISTIC for a “boot on the ground” athletic trainer to provide input.  I feel that not only have athletic trainers seemed to be seen and not heard, the vast majority of us practice in the high school setting, where the adolescents are playing sports.  I can assure you I will do my very best to be a quality representative of not only athletic training (it appears I am on the only AT in a speaking role) but those of us working with the most kids/athletes.

Anyhow the cast of speakers/presenters is indeed “star-studded” and even has some opposing view points on where we should be headed; which should make for some quality discussion.  If I can get my technology working and to NYC I will attempt to live blog/tweet the event for those that cannot make it.

Speaking of that, I know that time is short but I encourage anyone who is going to be in NYC during Super Bowl Week try to attend this event.  If there are scribes out there I am sure the wonderful support staff at BSI can arrange for you to cover and meet the star of the show – me, of course – hahahahaha, I kid.  Seriously, you can register HERE and if you have questions feel free to contact them.

I hope to see you all there!

Launching National Study of Female Athletes and Concussions

18 Sep

Here is a press release from Kathrine Price Snedaker and Pinkconcussions.com

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Press Release

For Release: Wednesday, September 18, 2013 
Launch of National Study of Female Athletes and Concussions
Study begins October 1, to explore Female Athletes’ Experiences with Concussions
Contact:
Katherine Snedaker, MSW, PinkConcussions.com / 203-984-0860 PinkConcussions@gmail.com
Dr. Jimmy Sanderson, Clemson University / 864-656-3996 jsande6@clemson.edu

Norwalk, CT – Men’s football concussions are in the news daily from former and current players, but there’s rarely news about female athletes’ experiences with concussions. Female athletes experience a significant number of concussions, yet they seem too often overlooked when concussions are discussed in mainstream media. Mentioned in the report American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position Statement: Concussion in Sport 2012data suggest that in sports with similar rules female athletes sustain more concussions than their male counterparts. In addition, female athletes experience or report a higher number and severity of symptoms as well as a longer duration of recovery than male athletes in several studies.

This new study will be focused on female athletes from all sports, and their past and present experiences with concussions. Current and former athletes are eligible for this study conducted by researchers from Clemson University with the advocacy group, Pink Concussions. For this study, female athletes, age 18 and over, who are willing to participate can sign up now at PinkConcussions.com. On October 1, participants will be emailed a link to a twenty-minute online survey about their experiences with sports and non-sport concussions and reporting concussions.

This research study will also explore female athletes’ experiences with reporting concussions, another salient avenue in the concussions dialogue, as many athletes do not report concussions willingly or are mis-diagnosed.

The research also will investigate female athletes’ willingness to have genetic testing that may show links to the repair and recovery of brain cells after concussion. After finishing the survey, participants in the study can opt for an additional study and consider submitting DNA collected by a cheek swab to be tested for variants at the Apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene.  Testing for certain genes has previously documented an association between specific genetic factors and outcomes from injuries such as concussion.

Apolipoprotein E is a protein that is important in the repair and recovery of brain cells that have been damaged due to concussion. The clinical studies point to a relationship between certain genetic signatures and poorer overall concussion response. While additional evidence is needed to better understand the relationship between APOE status and concussion outcomes, the American Academy of Neurology introduced APOE testing into concussion management guidelines this year.  EDIT FROM AAN: The American Academy of Neurology did not “introduce APOE testing into concussion management guidelines this year.”  The AAN stated that apoE4 was a risk factor for cognitive impairment in professionals; but no recommendation was made to conduct apoE testing, and there was no evidence reviewed regarding apoE4 in amateurs. 

The results of this research will help further concussion research by focusing on the communicative element present in this issue, and the results of the study will be helpful for athletes, parents, administrators, physicians, and advocates. This research will be beneficial in shedding light on female athletes’ experiences with concussions and reporting concussions. Often female athletes are omitted from the public discourse surrounding concussions and the results of this research will assist concussion advocates in raising more awareness about concussion issues in sports.

Co-Researchers in this study are Dr. Jimmy Sanderson and Dr. Melinda Weathers in the Department of Communication Studies at Clemson University, along with Ms. Katherine Snedaker, MSW, of PinkConcussions.com.

# # #
For more information about this study, help in recruiting athletes or to participate in the study, please fill the contact form at PinkConcussions.com or contact:

Dr. Jimmy Sanderson
Clemson University
864-656-3996
Katherine Snedaker
203-984-0860

NOCSAE Press Release Clarifies

9 Aug

NOCASE sent me the most recent press release; pertaining to the aftermarket/third-party additions to helmets. Here it is in full;

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Certification to NOCSAE Standards and Add-on Helmet Products

OVERLAND PARK, Kansas – August 8, 2013 – The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) has released the following statement regarding equipment certified to NOCSAE standards and add-on helmet products.

“Products designed to be added to a football helmet are being marketed and sold; some are intended to measure impacts, while others are expressly marketed as improving a helmet’s performance. Some products claim the ability to protect against concussions. Regardless of the truth of such claims, the addition of those products to a certified helmet changes the model, by definition, under the NOCSAE standards.

“For many years NOCSAE standards have defined a helmet model as a helmet “intended to be identical in every way, except for size.” Any changes, additions or alterations of the model, except for size, color or graphics, even if made by the original manufacturer, require that a new model name be created and a separate certification testing process begin for that new model. This concept of limiting certification to a specific model is commonly found in national and international helmet standards.

  • NOCSAE itself does not certify any product, it does not “approve” or “disapprove” of any product, and has no authority to grant exemptions or waivers to the requirements imposed by the standards it writes.
  • The addition of an item(s) to a helmet previously certified without those item(s) creates a new untested model. Whether the add-on product changes the performance or not, the helmet model with the add-on product is no longer “identical in every aspect” to the one originally certified by the manufacturer.
  • When this happens, the manufacturer which made the original certification has the right, under the NOCSAE standards, to declare its certification void. It also can decide to engage in additional certification testing of the new model and certify the new model with the add-on product, but it is not required to do so.
  • Companies which make add-on products for football helmets have the right to make their own certification of compliance with the NOCSAE standards on a helmet model, but when that is done, the certification and responsibility for the helmet/third-party product combination would become theirs, (not the helmet manufacturer). That certification would be subject to the same obligations applicable to the original helmet manufacturer regarding certification testing, quality control and quality assurance and licensure with NOCSAE.
  • Products such as skull caps, headbands, mouth guards, ear inserts or other items that are not attached or incorporated in some way into the helmet are not the types of products that create a new model as defined in the NOCSAE standards and are not items which change the model definition.”

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I read it simply as this;  Continue reading

Schutt Puts Technology to Work on Helmet Label

25 Jul

Schutt Helmets out of Litchfield, Illinois has taken the warning label to new levels.  You know, those tags that seem to be in the way when we buy something new – often discarded as quickly as possible;

The new Schutt warning label will feature a permanent, interactive graphic called a QR Code, which can be scanned by any mobile device. Scanning the new Schutt warning label will launch CDC’s new “Heads Up” concussion app, making it very easy for millions of football players, fans, coaches and parents to get the information they’re looking for.

“There is no organization in the country that is more highly recognized for their unbiased and objective work on concussions than CDC,” said Robert Erb, CEO of Schutt Sports. “By using this QR Code on our warning label, we’ll make the very best information from the very best source available immediately – and permanently – on our helmets. We briefly thought about just using a simple hangtag, but we know very few actually get read. Most are thrown away. We wanted to do something more useful than that and really produce something positive in the marketplace.”

Players, coaches and parents can read the new warning label – which has the same text as before – but can now also scan the QR Code, which will launch the “Heads Up” app on their mobile device or make it easy for the user to download the app.

I do applaud the effort to educate in the easiest possible way, as well as use of the CDC.  When people start to take the time to truly understand about concussions (and all the equipment involved in any sport) we will begin to see a paradigm shift.

You can view the images below and read the full press release;  Continue reading

Speaking of Helmets, NOCSAE Press Release

23 Jul

I was forwarded this NOCSAE press release from a very prominent AT in the NCAA, and although the sender declined to comment, it was his intention to get mine.  I feel it would be good to comment and publish this press release here.  You can find the press release, dated July 3, 2013 HERE.

The purpose of the information provided by NOCSAE was to clear up some perceived and often misunderstandings about the Virgina Tech Helmet Ratings for football helmets.  Like NOCASE, I encourage the research into helmets, the first line of defense against blunt force trauma to the head in collision sports (rodeo included).  However, there are some things that may need explaining.

Now by no means am I taking sides here, I feel Stefan Duma and his cohorts do a tremendous job, as well as the current helmet makers.  I feel that everyone is doing their part to provide Continue reading

Ice Hockey Summit II

5 Jun

The Mayo Clinic is hosting their second Ice Hockey summit, October 8th and 9th in Rochester, Minnesota.  The title on this one is “Action on Concussions”;

The prevalence and consequences of concussion at all levels of ice hockey are concerning. Reduction of concussion risk, as well as improved concussion diagnosis and management require a collaborative effort from medicine, psychology, sport science, coaching, engineering, officiating, manufacturing, and community partners. This quality scientific program focuses on education and generates an evidence-based action plan designed to make a difference.

Registration fee is $275-350 and space is limited so make your plans now, and click above. Continue reading

2013 BIAC Annual Conference

29 May

The Brain Injury Association of Canada is having their annual conference September 25-27 in Kingston, Ontario.  I have worked with the BIAC and various American adjuncts for years, it is a great organization.  If this were not knee-deep in football season around here I would gladly attend.  I think everyone that has the chance; from the layman, survivor, and professional should be there.  There is an early bird rate if you get signed up before June 15th so don’t delay and get registered today.

False/Misleading Advertising Targeted

23 May

If there is one thing in the concussion issue that really draws my ire its the false and sometimes fraudulent advertising of some companies claiming they can prevent concussions with a product.  There has been a good effort to reduce this, however now there may be some serious teeth behind the problem.  A press release;

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2013
Contacts:
Tom Udall Press Office / 202.228.6870 / news@tomudall.senate.gov 
Kevin McAlister (Rockefeller) 202.224.8374 / kevin_mcalister@commerce.senate.gov 
 
 
Udall, Rockefeller Introduce Bill to Help Protect Young Athletes from Sports-Related Traumatic Brain Injuries
 
 
WASHINGTON – To mark National Physical Fitness and Sports Month, U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and John D. “Jay” Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, today introduced legislation that seeks to protect youth athletes from the dangers of sports-related traumatic brain injuries by improving equipment safety standards and curbing false advertising claims.
 
The Youth Sports Concussion Act will help ensure that safety standards for sports equipment are up to date and informed by the latest science. The bill will also increase potential penalties for using false injury prevention claims to sell youth sports equipment.
 
“We want our children to be active and participate in sports, but we must take every precaution to protect them from traumatic head injuries,” said Udall. “There will always be some risk, but athletes, coaches and parents need to be aware of Continue reading

Free Webinar (TODAY)

22 May

For those looking to cash in on this concussion issue with innovative ideas and products, you should not miss this opportunity;

GE & the NFL are teaming up to accelerate concussion research, diagnosis and treatment. The Head Health Initiative aims to develop new solutions to help diagnose mild traumatic brain injury. This initiative starts with a two-year open innovation program to invest up to $20 million in research and technology. This includes the first Challenge, the focus of this webinar, which offers a $10 million award to better understand and diagnose traumatic brain injury. A second component of the initiative is a four-year $40 million research and development program to determine the key imaging biomarkers in the brain.

Featured speaker include Mark A. Phillips, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Healthcare, Healthcare Systems and Kevin Guskiewicz, Ph.D., Chair, NFL’s Head, Neck & Spine Committee.

You must go to the link to register, the event is at 3pm EST today.

 

IHSA Proposed Heat Acclimatization Policy

7 May

There was big news out of Bloomington, Illinois coming and I was getting fired up because the word on the street was they had been working with the Kory Stinger Institute and Sports Legacy Institute to create a new “football” policy.  With my effort over the past two years to get the Illinois High School Association to look at and make some proactive changes to the way football is practiced, there was hope it had not fallen on deaf ears.

Well, the announcement/proposal is out…  It’s a good first step; one that addresses the heat issues that plague football. Some highlights are;

  • 14 day period that every player must go through to be eligible to play
  • Strict guidelines on actual practice time and rest time during multiple practice days (traditionally 2-a-days)
  • Set rest days
  • Removal of “grey area” of weights/agilities/walk throughs
  • Definition of scrimmages
  • No matter what was done before the start of the season all must do the 14 day period

Moreover this proposal is very specific and makes very good sense in the area of heat acclimatization.  Obviously you can see the hard work of KSI in the proposal, but where is SLI input?  Some of the missing talking points Continue reading

Who Wants Research Monies?

11 Apr

There are plenty of people out there that think they have the answer to the concussion issue.  From helmets (G. Malcom Brown) to mouth gear (Mark Picot), to assessment, to rehabilitation, to research, the whole lot of it.  Well now is your chance to put forth your best effort and get some money for research on your products or your ideas.  The National Institutes of Health and the NFL have created the Sports and Health Research Program;

The Sports and Health Research Program (SHRP) is an innovative partnership among the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the National Football League (NFL) and the FNIH. Launched in 2012, the program aims to help accelerate the pursuit of research to enhance the health of athletes at all levels, past, present and future, and to extend the impact of that research beyond the playing field to benefit others in the general population, including members of the military.

There is an agenda of sorts; regarding what they are looking at going forward (see article) but they are giving grants for those that meet the criteria; Continue reading

Mayo Clinic Looking into Autonomic Response to Concussion

1 Apr

Neurologists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona have taken a promising step toward identifying a test that helps support the diagnosis of concussion. Their research has shown that autonomic reflex testing, which measures involuntary changes in heart rate and blood pressure, consistently appear to demonstrate significant changes in those with concussion.

Appearing on their website, the information researchers are delving into is a new angle on  concussions.  It is widely known that traumatic brain injured (TBI) patients have autonomic system (ANS) deficits/abnormalities.  However the group from Arizona thought an investigation into concussed patients was worth the effort.  Low and behold their findings are a promising first step in possible assessment and management of the concussion.

One interesting note, was this notion on dizziness;

“Contrary to popular belief, the symptoms of ‘dizziness’ that patients feel just after a concussion may, in some cases, be symptoms of autonomic system impairment rather than a vestibular or inner ear disturbance,” says Bert Vargas, M.D., a Mayo neurologist.

No one is telling you to take blood pressures with assessment (ergo baselines), yet, but with this information could come not only objective testing but biomarkers associated with ANS changes;

“This study shows a possible electrophysiological biomarker that indicates that a concussion has occurred — we are hopeful that with more research this will be confirmed and that this may also be a biomarker for recovery,” he says.

Zurich 2012 In Writing

12 Mar

If you all recall I went to Zurich in November to attend the “Concussion Conference”; mainly as an observer, but there was enough time and opportunity to impart my questions/knowledge as a practicing athletic trainer.  Here are the links to DAY 1 and DAY 2 of my live blogging.  By the way, the live blogging was WELL received and continues to provide great insight into what went on.  I hope that I am asked back for the next conference, or any other conference that wouldn’t mind my attendance.

Now the information gathered at the conference has been hashed and rehashed and now appears as the 4th Consensus Statement (tweeted previously).

As part of the initiative the Standardized Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) was looked at and changes were made to the 2nd version from 2008.  You can now find the new version by clicking SCAT3.

A new wrinkle was an assessment tool for the younger ages, the group decided on the “Child” version of the new SCAT3, that can also be found by clicking Child SCAT3.

Also included in the addendum of the Consensus Statement was a recognition pocket card, found by clicking Recognition Pocket Card.

All of the above is free and intended to be used as a resource for better concussion assessment and even early management of concussion.  Please read the Statement regarding best practices.  As always this blog is NEVER to be used to diagnose or treat a concussion.  There is a lot to be absorbed and read; one thing is for sure we as athletic trainers and concerned/educated individuals now have the most recent information at our fingertips.  I guess this blog is actually doing some good work :)  A side note; how about this appearing during National Athletic Trainers Month?  It might be a coincidence, but I find it serendipitous.

Moorad Sports Law Symposium: Concussion Conundrum

12 Mar

The concussion issue has permeated every facet of life and sport.  Now policies, products, rules and law are starting to address the issue head on (pun intended), and one of the most renowned groups is taking a look at this issue as well;

The 2013 Jeffrey S. Moorad Sports Law Journal Symposium—Concussion Conundrum—explores, debates, and informs on the key issues facing players, teams, leagues, doctors, and lawyers regarding head injuries and brain trauma in sports.

Panels include commentary from well-known retired professional athletes about concussion awareness and prevention amongst players; an examination of both sides of the NFL Concussion Injury Litigation—the concussion injury class action suit brought by former NFL players against the league; an exploration of the science and concussion-related liability facing professional and amateur sports; and a look at where we are and where we are going with media personalities commenting on the state of sports and concussions.

Andrew Brandt, Director of the Jeffrey S. Moorad Center for the Study of Sports Law and NFL Business Analyst, has covered the concussion issue for ESPN and moderates all panels.

The Symposium takes place on Friday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., in the Arthur M. Goldberg Commons at Villanova University School of Law. This program is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for 2 substantive CLE credits. The event is free for non-CLE attendees.

The panel and the topics are top notch; this event should be on the “to-do” list of  anyone interested in sports law.  Below is the topics and panels (check the website for more deets – also notice our partners at stopconcussions.com (Keith Primeau) and our good friend Paul Anderson);

  • Panel 1: Framing the Issue
    • Keith Primeau
    • Jim Nelson
    • Taylor Twellman
    • Brian Westbrook
  • Panel 2: Building the Case — A Legal and Medical Background of Concussions  Continue reading

Anyone Want Money?

12 Mar

Basic RGBWell according to our comment section there are many of you out there looking for solutions; along with the efforts of established companies, like the helmet makers.  Now you can draw up and submit any ideas to the efforts of General Electric and the National Football League;

GE and the National Football League’s Head Health Challenge I aims to develop new solutions to help diagnose mild traumatic brain injury and invites proposals for scanning technologies and biomarkers that can accelerate growth. This four-year, $60 million partnership aims to improve the safety of athletes, members of the military and society overall.

The above is only step one, you have 111 days left to complete step 2;

We are seeking viable technologies for detecting early stage mild traumatic brain injuries at all stages of development for Challenge I. Ideas are welcome from all industries, organizations, and technical fields.

Visit the above linked website for further details and required forms.  I implore those that feel they have a technological solution to make the effort.  I will say this as candidly as possible; you cannot do it alone, you WILL and MUST have the resources and “blessings” of the NFL to get things done in the concussion effort.

Spots Still Open….

20 Feb

Here is a follow-up on the Gfeller Neurotrauma Symposium that we posted about in December…

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We are very excited to announce our non-academic Keynote Address on Saturday will be presented by Merril Hoge. Merril was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers, where he played until 1993. He led the team in rushing and receiving in four of his first five years, setting a record in his third year for receptions by a running back. He was the Steelers Iron Man of the Year two years in a row (1989 and 1990) and was named to the All-Madden team in 1989. In 1993, Merril went to the Chicago Bears, where he played for one year until he was forced to retire early due to post-concussion syndrome. At the time of his retirement, Merril had the longest consecutive playing streak in the NFL.

The Second Matthew Gfeller Neurotrauma Symposium at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on March 8-9, 2013 is right around the corner. There are a few spots left. We have informed you earlier of some great speakers we have lined up including, but not limited to, Dr. Christopher Giza, Dr. Robert Cantu, Dr. Michael Collins, Dr. Gerry Gioia, and some of our other local, regional, and national colleagues. A final schedule of topics is available on our website. Additional information regarding the event, including a link to register, is available at http://tbicenter.unc.edu (click on “TBI Symposium” in the header). A direct link to register for the meeting is as follows: http://tinyurl.com/c576kdu.

Healthcare Providers & Researchers (PhD, MD, ATC, CAT(C), RN, etc): $175  Continue reading

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