Concussion Expert Says Jury Still Out on Whether Concussions Increase Risk of Suicide

Gary Solomon, MD, presented a lecture on Concussion and Mental Health on April 16 at the 25th Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) in Dallas, TX.Giving The Green Light To Drive After Head Trauma

The 2016 conference, with more than 1,600 sports medicine physicians attending from throughout the United States and around the world, explores current decisions, controversies as well as best practices that define the clinical practice of sports medicine.

Dr. Solomon, clinical neuropsychologist and Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center, works with both the Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans and has a research interest in sports-related concussions. One of the major topics he addressed is whether concussions cause depression and/or suicide.

He presented an overview of scientific studies on the topic. Despite some media reports, he concludes that “there is poor quality evidence regarding a causative relationship of sport-related concussion and psychiatric illness as well as suicide and further research is needed in this area,” he said.

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Settlement Reached Between Student Athlete and University in Concussion Litigation

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the April issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To subscribe, visit the following link – http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

A confidential settlement agreement has reportedly been reached between the parties in Walen v. Portland State University, et al., in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon, Multnomah County, No. 14CV12218.

While the financial terms weren’t disclosed, attorneys for plaintiff Zachary Walen noted that Portland State University (PSU) has agreed to update the concussion policy used by its sports medicine staff. The changes reportedly include:

  1. The risk of developing post-concussion syndrome will be included in the education provided to student-athletes and the training provided to coaches and staff.
  2. The training of coaches and staff will include an explanation regarding the concussion healing process, which depending on the student athlete’s condition, can take weeks and possibly longer.
  3. Student-athletes will be informed of their right to seek, at their own cost, a return-to-play opinion from a physician who is not a member of the PSU Sports Medicine Staff. The most conservative opinion will be followed. All student-athletes will be informed of this option during the education provided to student-athletes.
  4. At the student-athlete’s request and with his or her consent, the parent(s) of a concussed student-athlete will be informed if their son or daughter has been diagnosed with a concussion and when the student-athlete has been cleared to return to full sport participation. All student-athletes will be informed of this option during the education provided to student-athletes.

The initial injury to Walen, who sought $5 million in damages, occurred on opening day in September of 2012 during the linebacker’s first game as a Viking. It is uncontested that in the fourth quarter of that game that Walen suffered a head injury after a direct blow to the head. Though coaches and staff allegedly failed to identify the concussion in the aftermath of the hit, Walen’s parents brought him to the hospital shortly after the game, where he was diagnosed with a concussion.

The plaintiff alleged in his complaint that …

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CLE @ PNC PARK – Sports Concussion Litigation

The Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Sports Lawyers Association are hosting a 3 hour crash course on concussion litigation on April 29, starting at 3 p.m., at PNC Park in Pittsburgh.

The presentation will cover the anatomy of a concussion by a medical doctor and lessons from an attorney that filed the first lawsuits on behalf of NFL players ,and where the litigation currently stands. Attendees will also gain an understanding of the workers’ compensation issues involved in concussion injuries. Ethics will also be covered throughout the program.

Attendees will also have an opportunity to attend the baseball game that features the Pirates and the Cincinnati Reds, For more information, visit http://catalog.pbi.org/store/seminar/seminar.php?seminar=55416

 

 

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