(Editor’s note: Here’s a snippet of the coverage from the Sports Lawyers Association annual meeting in Atlanta last week. Look for more coverage in the June issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter.)
On the opening day of the Sports Lawyers Association annual meeting last week, Dr. Kevin E. Crutchfield, the Director of the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, MD, proved to be a very insightful panelist during the discussion, raising two interesting issues.
The first centered on the connection between neck injuries and concussions. Crutchfield said that neck injuries frequently go undiagnosed after an athlete has been diagnosed with suffering a concussion to the detriment of the patient. He almost seemed to imply that, invariably, an athlete who suffers a concussion has likely suffered a neck injury. And in some cases, the reverse may apply.
Second, Crutchfield said the athlete he sees the most are the “beatees” from the high school and college football programs, rather than the “beaters.” The elite athletes don’t suffer concussions with the same frequency as those practice players, who fill out the squads.
The National Football League has announced a webinar that will address the GE-NFL Head Health Challenge on Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00PM ET.
The session is “aimed at further engaging the scientific community,” according to the league. It will focus specifically on Challenge I, which offers up to a $10 million award for a proposal that would advance the understanding and diagnosis of traumatic brain injury.
Participants will include DR. Kevin Guskiewicz, Chair, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a member of the NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee, and Mark A. Phillips, Chief Marketing Officer, GE Healthcare, Healthcare Systems. Interested participants may register by clicking:
In March, GE and the NFL announced the Head Health Initiative, a four-year, $60 million partnership “to improve the safety of athletes, members of the military and society overall.”
Nanotechnology therapies, a revolutionary new method for “the treatment of traumatic brain injury and associated infections,” are getting a boost in research dollars to the tune of $6 million from the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The multi-disciplinary research team awarded this money will be directed by Professor Michael J. Sailor, Ph.D., from the University of California San Diego.
A driving force behind the allocation of these dollars is data collected from Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Battlefield casualties have resulted in skull injuries that make up 18 percent of all wounds, “according to the most recent estimate from the Joint Theater Trauma Registry.”
Clark C. Chen, M.D., Ph.D. of UC San Diego School of Medicine, and team member, elaborated on the nature of many head wounds, stating, “A major contributor to the mortality associated with a penetrating brain injury is the elevated risk of intracranial infection.” Chen went on to note “that projectiles drive contaminated foreign materials into neural tissue.”
The challenge confronting the medical profession in the case of treating projectile-related TBIs deals with the brain’s natural defense mechanism against infection, the physiological system known as the blood-brain barrier. When an infection takes hold, the blood-brain barrier makes it difficult to get antibiotics past it to treat the infection.
To learn more about treating TBI with this new technology, go to – http://bit.ly/14aNNcv