Category Archives: Football
Philanthropist Steve Tisch, co-owner of the New York Giants, has pledged $10 million to the department of neurosurgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA for the BrainSPORT Program, which has been renamed the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program.
The new funding — the single largest gift from an individual to a medical center for a concussion-related initiative — will enable UCLA to create the first U.S. fellowship program to train pediatric neurologists who specialize in sports concussions, and establish the world’s most sophisticated research, prevention, diagnosis and treatment program for concussions and brain injuries, with a particular emphasis on young athletes.
“As the father of children who are athletes, and as an NFL owner, I greatly value the positive role that sports play in people’s lives and am personally concerned about sports concussions,” said Tisch. “UCLA runs one of the best youth concussion programs in the nation, and I’m honored that my gift will allow the program to accelerate and expand its efforts to help kids, parents and coaches understand how to prevent and treat concussions and enjoy the sports that they love.”
The BrainSPORT (Brain Sports concussion Prevention Outreach Research and Treatment) Program was founded in 2012 by UCLA’s Dr. Christopher Giza. Integrating the expertise of clinicians and scientists at the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center and in pediatric neurology, neuropsychology and sports medicine, the program provides research-based treatment for sports concussions in school-age to professional athletes.
As director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, Giza’s immediate goal is to develop an age-appropriate concussion-evaluation tool that blends baseline testing, recordings from advanced biomechanical sensors, and expert neurological and cognitive exams. The tests will measure a concussion’s severity, determine the treatment and guide plans for the affected athlete’s return to competition.
“Mr. Tisch’s generous gift will be an enormous game-changer, enabling us to create diagnostic tools customized to younger athletes,” said Giza, who is a professor of neurosurgery and pediatric neurology at the Geffen School of Medicine and Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA. “Currently, young athletes are assessed with adult tests — but kids aren’t little adults. With the right diagnosis and personalized care, kids can recover completely from concussion.”
What follows is a statement from the American Academy of Neurology about the concussion summit that was held yesterday at the White House:
“The American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest association of neurologists with 28,000 members, applauds President Obama’s call today for greater awareness of sports concussion. As the trusted authority on diagnosing and managing concussion, the AAN is supportive of the initiatives the White House announced, including a national concussion database and a partnership between the Department of Defense and the National Collegiate Athletic Association to fund a $30 million, widespread clinical study of college athletes and concussion.
“You only get one brain and it’s important to treat it well and follow the American Academy of Neurology’s guideline recommendations on sports concussion. Among the most important recommendations the Academy has made is that any athlete suspected of experiencing a concussion should immediately be removed from play.
“AAN sports concussion guideline co-author Christopher Giza, MD, represented the Academy at today’s White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, along with former pro football player Ben Utecht, who experienced a career-ending traumatic brain injury in 2009 while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.
“To learn more about concussion, visit AAN.com/Concussionor download the Academy’s new app, Concussion Quick Check, to quickly help coaches and athletic trainers recognize the signs of concussion. – Timothy A. Pedley, MD, FAAN, President, American Academy of Neurology.”
The Panthers hosted their first Heads Up Football Moms Clinic in partnership with USA Football last week. Nearly 100 local moms attended the clinic at Bank of America Stadium.
Carolina Panthers head athletic trainer Ryan Vermillion led an information session on how to properly manage heat and hydration for youth players, as well as concussion recognition and response. USA Football master trainer Ez Smith demonstrated proper fitting for helmet and shoulder pads.
“We hope all of these moms can now go back to their community and advocate to make sure their coaches are Heads Up Football certified,” said Smith.
Stephanie Rivera, wife of Coach Rivera and former a WNBA coach, was an active contributor throughout the clinic, participating in an informative panel discussion and leading moms through a series of football drills with current Panthers players.
“We want to help moms make decisions about their kids’ sports participation with confidence—this includes understanding good coaching, proper techniques and player safety,” said Rivera.