Category Archives: General

Activist Says ‘Exposure Therapy’ Is the Key in Dealing with the Problem of Concussions and America’s Youth

Ken Reed, who is sports policy director for League of Fans and author of How We Can Save Sports: A Game Plan, recently wrote a column for USA Today, where he point to the concept of  Exposure Therapy as being the key to dealing with the concussion issue as it relates to youth sports.

“We shake our heads in dismay at the growing number of research studies and scary stories about brain injuries in youth and high school sports,” he wrote. “And then we continue on as we always have, wishing this concussion problem had never surfaced, and hoping and praying it doesn’t become an issue for our athletic sons and daughters.

“So, what’s the cure for avoidance behavior? According to psychologists, the most common treatment is exposure therapy, which in lay terms basically means face the situation, accept it, and deal with it.

“Here’s the type of question we have to deal with: Am I voluntarily putting my child at unnecessary risk by allowing him (and in a few cases, her) to play football?”

Reed went on to cite research, which shows that kids should be held out of risky sports and well into the teen years.

To see the full column, visit:

http://snip.ly/Plm1#http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/03/06/youth-sports-avoidance-behavior-column/24383229/

 

 

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Has Norwalk, Connecticut Become the Safest City in the Country When It Comes to Concussions?

(Editor’s Note: The following excerpt is from an article that appeared in the March issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter)

The City of Norwalk, Conn. made history last month when the Norwalk Common Council voted 15 to 0 to approve Youth Sport Concussion Guidelines for its 6,000 youth athletes and 700 coaches who use municipal fields, gyms and facilities.

Connecticut’s Concussion Law only applied to Norwalk’s 1,145 high school athletes, meaning city guidelines were needed to extend the concussion protocol to the remaining youth athletes. To illustrate that point, Katherine Snedaker, a Norwalk resident and Executive Director of the non-profit PinkConcussions.com, told Concussion Litigation Reporter that 75 students in Norwalk public schools have reported concussions with 19 of them coming from non-school sports, which were not covered by the state law.“Katherine

Norwalk has set a new ‘standard of care’ for young athletes ages 3 to 18,” said Snedaker. “These guidelines are the most progressive for any city in Connecticut and maybe even in the United States.”

Snedaker, who was instrumental in getting the guidelines passed, said the guidelines will apply to all City of Norwalk-sponsored Athletic Activities and Programs and to those Athletic Activities and Programs operated or conducted by any user group or organization on or in facilities belonging to the City of Norwalk .Athletic Activities and/or Programs can be defined as “all activities including practices, training, performances, scrimmage, games and other organized competitions involving athletic activities such as sports and dance.”

(For more analysis of this development, subscribe to Concussion Litigation Reporter)

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Renowned Pathologist Joins Board of Company Exploring use of Cannabinoid Therapeutics in Treatment of CTE

Kannalife Sciences, Inc. has announced that Dr. Bennet Omalu, MD has joined its Scientific Advisory Board to assist the company in the advancement of its research and development efforts toward the use of cannabinoid therapeutics for the treatment of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Dr. Omalu is the forensic pathologist responsible for conducting the full autopsy of Mike Webster, the deceased NFL Hall of Fame center for the Pittsburgh Steelers. It was through his examination of Mike Webster that led to his discovery of CTE.

In August of 2014, Kannalife Sciences signed a license agreement with the National Institutes of Heath (NIH) for U.S. Patent 6,630,507, “Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants” (the “‘507 Patent”) to develop a treatment for CTE using cannabinoids. Cannabinoids are any of a group of related compounds that include the non-psychoactive Cannabidiol as well as Tetrahydrocannabinol; the active constituent of cannabis (marijuana).

Dr. Omalu stated, “I am humbled and honored by the invitation to join the medical advisory board of Kannalife. Together we can make great strides in the diagnosis and management of CTE and other neurodegenerative diseases in living subjects.”

Kannalife’s CEO, Dean Petkanas, added, “It is with great pleasure that we have the opportunity to work with Dr. Omalu on the therapeutic side of CTE. We recognize his commitment to helping people combat disease and applaud his remarkable career and body of knowledge in this space. I believe with Dr. Omalu’s contribution towards improving our visibility into the pathology of this disease, we will hopefully bring forth a novel therapeutic drug into the market and make a difference in the lives of many who suffer with CTE.”

Acute, late stage CTE is a form of encephalopathy, resulting in the accumulation of tau protein that is marked by a sudden and rapidly progressive neuro-degeneration and atrophy of the hippocampus, entorhinal cortex and amygdala regions in the human brain. Unfortunately, early signs are difficult to detect and rapid succession of the disease leads to suicidal death. Postmortem diagnosis typically reveals the extent of the disease.

Dr. Omalu was the first to identify, describe and name CTE as a disease entity in football players and wrestlers. He is currently the Forensic Pathologist/Neuropathologist of San Joaquin County, California, and is the President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology. He also serves as a Clinical Associate Professor at the UC, Davis Medical Center, Department of Medical Pathology and Laboratory Medicine.

Dr. Omalu has testified twice before the United States Congress and has provided hundreds of testimonies as an expert witness in federal courts and state courts across the United States. Dr. Omalu is the focal point of the highly acclaimed PBS’ FRONTLINE documentary called “League of Denial,” which can be found here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/league-of-denial/

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