Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?

In a time when I truly feel strongly that we should collaborate rather than look down noses’ at other peoples work and words within the concussion realm there seems to be none of that with a recent report from TSN, Canada.  Although I did get a chance to read, I really didn’t have the perspective that, say, a Canadian would.  Insert Terry Ott, who has penned some very interesting articles here, in regards to concussion coverage and information — particularly in Canadian Football — from north of the border.

I believe Mr. Ott presented a very fair summation of the information provided — mainly the Tator quote — via TSN.  It has been very interesting to see how different places handle the concussion issue, from North America to Europe to Australia.  For the most part it mainly has to do with the “biggest #&^!” in the room.  Which is not always the best way to accomplish the same overall goal: tackling the concussion issue — head on!  (see what I did there?)

Remember, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” -Japanese Proverb

Now for Terry

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TSN CANADA REPORT DEMONSTRATES DIFFERENT NORTH/SOUTH CONCUSSION PERSPECTIVES

HAMILTON

Dec. 6. 2014

TERRY OTT

In Canada, The Concussion Blog has come an awfully long way in the past 18 months.

Prior to its ongoing addressing of the concussion crisis in the Canadian Football League the site was definitely for seekers of specificity of brain injury and prevention, but certainly not pertaining to the CFL. Canuck readers were limited.

All of that changed last July when The Concussion Blog broke the story of the first concussion related lawsuit filed in Canada by former CFL player Arland Bruce. The Concussion Blog is now required reading for many interested parties of Canadian football and the northern medical community researching brain injury.

And now, Canadian-based The Sports Network (TSN) which previously had cast a rather jaded TV and radio eye on the Arland Bruce concussion lawsuit now seems to be seriously pursuing the story with a Dec. 3 piece by Continue reading

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Research That Should Stop You In Your Tracks

OK, that title may be hyperbole, but the new research out of Canada should make you take a step back and realize what our fine researchers are now able to discover.  Considering the context of hockey it shouldn’t be shocking that this was found in Canada (since posting we have been informed that work was done on both sides of the border), but really for a long while now some of the best work on concussions is coming from the North, for whatever reason (no disrespect to the US scientists).

Now that I effectively pissed off a few readers with the last comment, here is what was found by Dr. Paul Echlin and team:

  • concussions alter the white matter of the brain
  • structural damage can now be seen
  • MRI was used
  • this is both males and females
  • brain vascular changes were noted in males only, but resolved at two months
  • comparison with control counterparts showed that concussed individuals had white mater changes at end of season (upon being fully resolved from injury)

From the CTV News article (video at jump);  Continue reading

Perspective and Exposure Driving Concussions up on Canadian Water Polo Team

As I was looking at the recent articles about concussions – the number of which has increased tremendously over the life of the blog – I noticed a write-up in thestar.com, out of Canada, regarding the Woman’s National Water Polo team;

But eight members of the 20-member training squad have suffered concussions at various times in the lead-up to their important Olympic qualifier, April 15-22, in Trieste, Italy.

“It’s really hard for a team to find its groove, its chemistry when there’s always players in and out,” said the team’s star Krystina Alogbo. “And it’s hard obviously for other players because then they start worrying ‘Oh my God, what if I get hit in the head?’

The team has high hopes for a medal, pending the outcome of qualifying for the Olympics.  However with the exposure and relatively good perspective of concussions in Canada Continue reading

Canada Takes Initiative

When you can get five separate entities – including the largest hockey organization in the country and one of the most well-funded brain injury awareness groups – to pool resources and information to increase awareness of concussion then I would say that is initiative.  This dive is once again coming from north of the border as Hockey Canada and ThinkFirst Canada are amongst the five organizations making a push.

The noteworthy product of this group is a survey;

“I think that’s outstanding,” said Pat Waslen, executive director of Football B.C. “One of the problems from our perspective here is there needs to be more [concussion protocols] put in place. Years ago there were no rules saying you had to have seatbelts in your car, right? So it’s the same thing with concussions.” Continue reading

CFL and Football Canada Team Up

The Canadian Football League has been very progressive with concussion awareness, in fact it would be factual to say the CFL has been the most progressive in North America in the sport of football.  The eight-team league instituted a standardized sideline test for concussions last year, the SCAT2; and this year they will use tracking software for concussions.  Not unlike the CDC in the States, the CFL and its partners will be distributing educational information via flyers and handouts.  Thanks to SportMed BC we were given the story;

The goal is to educate players and coaches at all levels and dispel any remnants of the old-school gridiron habits where players made premature returns to the field.

“I think that culture has shifted,” CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said Tuesday. “I think that concept has shifted and these guys want to live long and healthy lives. And part of that is managing concussions.”

Other partners include; Continue reading

Getting It Across

(Project Brain Wave) In June, the Newfoundland and Labrador Brain Injury Association, of which I am on the Board, is holding a symposium-type event to discuss brain injury, who it affects and how we think we can help people in the province. I have been asked to talk about my experiences, so now, I am writing and gathering ideas – from previous posts on this blog and from my mind – so that I can talk about my brain injury, my recovery and the struggles and opportunities that have come out of my experiences. I have named my talk: (Brain injury) Recovery experiences, challenges and new opportunities. Now it’s just a matter of putting this all together.

Before my brain injury I wasn’t a very confident speaker, but once I got going, my nervousness would disguise itself as confidence and I could ramble and bullshit my way through a lot. I have almost the opposite problem now; Now, my speech belies my confidence (this is unfortunately true in more situations than public speaking) and there’s a lot for me to talk about on this subject.

I am very excited about talking about this and I’ve got to make some decisions to keep the audience interested. Here’s the way I see it:
  1. Most people reading this blog are my friends and you may be interested to hear my thoughts because most of you knew me before I was injured and want to know how I feel now and what’s changed for me personally. I can’t thank you enough for your support during and since. Thanks so much everyone!
  2. You’re the audience for this blog, not for my talk in June. That talk is for people who — Continue reading

Oh Canada

One would think that with hockey being its national sport and concussions a big part of that sport, Canada would be all aboard the ImPACT system.  It seems some hockey programs were doing just that, but football was overlooked.  An article on London Free Press’s website, reports that Aquinas High School is the first to implement this for football in all of Canada.

Way to go eh!