Tag Archives: brain

Discussion on NCAA and Concussions Steals the Show at Harvard Law School Symposium

(Editor’s Note: What follows is original reporting in Concussion Litigation Reporter from Eugene Egdorf of Shrader & Associates. To read the full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

On March 7, 2017, Harvard Law School held its annual Sports Symposium. This year’s topic was entitled “Legal & Ethical Issues Affecting NFL Player Safety.” The event included the most well- speakers known on this topic – folks such as Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu, co-founders of Concussion Legacy Foundation; Keynote Speaker DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, and Michael McCann, University of New Hampshire Law Professor and writer for Sports Illustrated.

While the title of the event emphasized the NFL, the real highlight was the panel discussion pertaining to the NCAA, which included the NCAA’s Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Oliver Luck.

The discussion of the science on concussions and head trauma was led by Dr. Cantu with additional data provided by Chris Nowinski. Several significant points were brought out:

  1. Contrary to the operating myth from the NCAA and NFL, concerns over head trauma, concussions, and what we now know as CTE did not become known in the late 2000’s, but rather in the 1930’s, with articles and concerns for “punch-drunk football players” – just like boxers.
  2. The CTE problem is far more pervasive and the future far darker than folks want to admit. Boston University researchers have thus far examined 151 brains of former college football players, and have found CTE in 138, or 91 percent. While thus far no longitudinal studies have been done, it appears that if anything CTE and its symptoms are UNDERREPORTED. And every head trauma adds to the risk – as Dr. Cantu said ” the best analogy to CTE is cigarette smoking.”
  3. Science does not yet know what exposure levels are necessary to cause CTE. Onset appears to vary. But it has been found in teens. There seems to be little doubt that CTE can arise in anyone that has head trauma, and more hits makes it more likely CTE will develop.

To read the rest of the points and full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/

 

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VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank Finds CTE in Four Former Junior Hockey Players

Dr. Ann McKee and her team at the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank have diagnosed four former junior hockey players with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in the past two years. None of the four players advanced to the National Hockey League and all died before the age of 30.

“We are focusing on hockey now,” Dr. McKee said in an interview with TSN. “We’re really trying to put together our experience… We’re hoping hockey is not as high a risk as football where there are more impacts every game in a more predictable fashion, but [CTE prevalence] could be just as high in hockey.”

The story is here: http://www.tsn.ca/four-junior-hockey-players-diagnosed-with-cte-researcher-says-1.730445

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Dolphins Slammed for Failure to Follow Concussion Protocol, NFL Releases Statement

The NFL just released the following statement:

The NFL and NFLPA have reviewed the application of the Concussion Protocol by the Dolphins’ medical staff in the January 8th Steelers-Dolphins game.

The Miami Dolphins were notified in a letter co-signed by Dr. Hunt Batjer, Co-Chair of the NFL Head, Neck & Spine Committee and Dr. Thom Mayer, Medical Director for the NFLPA, that the NFL-NFLPA review determined that the Protocol was not strictly followed. The letter further advised the Dolphins that they must engage their staff in a full review of the Protocol and conduct additional education, if necessary. The Dolphins were also advised that any future deviation from the Protocol may result in enhanced discipline, including monetary fines assessed against the Club.

In the second quarter, Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore incurred a hit to the chin and mouth area which drew a roughing the passer penalty. Mr. Moore was attended to by medical staff on the field and on the sideline. The team doctor took appropriate steps to promptly and fully involve the Unaffiliated Neuro-trauma Consultant (UNC) in the medical evaluation of the player and review of the video. They jointly cleared Mr. Moore to return to the game, but did not recognize that Mr. Moore presented a documented symptom, bleeding from the mouth, that required further evaluation in the locker room under the protocol. There is no indication that competitive issues had an impact on the care that Mr. Moore received, nor did Mr. Moore demonstrate any concussion symptoms either during or at any time following the game.

It is important for us to ensure everyone understands and follows the Protocol and that we continue to reinforce its importance. The co-chairmen of the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee sent a memo to the medical staffs of the clubs participating in the playoffs reminding them of that point.

The objective of the Concussion Protocol is to ensure a standardized process composed of best practices is used to identify and manage potential concussions. Concussion diagnosis and management is often a difficult and complex exercise, compounded by hectic game conditions. Accurate diagnosis and management of concussion requires a collaborative approach among experienced physicians on the sideline, each acutely aware of his or her responsibilities and all committed to the strict application of the protocol designed to protect players.

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