As controversy stirs around the movie “Concussion,” neurologist Harry Kerasidis believes viewers will begin to investigate the “untold story” of what can be done now to preserve the game, while protecting the athletes’ futures.
“One positive repercussion from the movie is that people will go home and consider what they know and believe about concussions,” said Dr. Kerasidis, medical director of the Center for Neuroscience at Calvert Memorial Hospital in Maryland, and author of “Concussionology: Redefining Sports Concussion Management for All Levels.”“This may lead them to looking for resources, information and advanced tools they can implement — which should enhance the awareness, the game and the athletes themselves.”
Sports concussions capture a lot of attention, and can be serious, says Dr. Kerasidis. “Unfortunately, there is void of up-to-date, accurate information and awareness of advanced tools and techniques exist — even at youth and high school levels,” said Dr. Kerasidis, who also founded the Chesapeake Neurology Associates, which has fully integrated his own XLNTbrain.complatform.
The movie features Will Smith portraying Dr. Bennet Omalu who discovered the degenerative brain disease Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) among deceased players from the National Football League.
“We’ve learned a lot about concussions, and sub-concussive hits since Dr. Omalu’s discovery,” said Dr. Kerasidis, “Concussions have emerged into a new era and field of science that blends neurology and technology. It’s one topic sports teams, parents, organizations even medical professionals need to become ‘Concussionologists.’ ”
“This is the premise of my work providing workable, highly relevant information and methods based on the latest research on concussions, as well as my 25 years treating them,” said Dr. Kerasidis.
A National High School Prototype?
Along with a lack of understanding of the brain injury, Dr. Kerasidis says high schools know they need to do something, but are constrained financially. “Perhaps the movie will also reveal the need for funding, and even unique approaches,” he said. For example, Dr. Kerasidis was instrumental in developing a prototype national plan for a integrating a seamless state-wide concussion protocol, following the Michigan example.
Through the Michigan High School Athletic Association, this school year 30 schools and approximately 10,000 student athletes and related athletic trainers, will have access to the full suite of advanced concussion care protocols, tests and tools created by Dr. Kerasidis. With the goal of offering the solution to the 300,000 athletes, the cost will be subsidized by a local or national corporate sponsor, freeing up funds at the high school level.
Other states believed to be well positioned to implement similar programs would include Illinois, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California and Ohio, according to Dr. Kerasidis.