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Steinberg Sees a Concussion ‘Epidemic’ and ‘Hope’

One of the byproducts of the Concussion Awareness Summit in Minneapolis run by Brewer Sports and visionary Jack Brewer last month was a smartly written column by legendary sports agent Leigh Steinberg called “Finally—Light At the End of Concussion Tunnel” for the Forbes.com website.brewer

Steinberg, who was the keynote speaker, noted in the piece that “breakthroughs in brain research and extensive testing of retired athletes has made it clear that our society is about to witness an epidemic of symptoms and damage in athletes in a variety of sports.” He went on to attribute this, in part, to the creation of “a new breed of robo-athletes able to run more quickly at greater size with unprecedented power.

“Pioneer researchers like Dr. Robert Cantu, Dr. Julian Bailes, Dr. Robert Hovda and Dr. Kevin Guskiewicz have conducted studies, which seem to point towards three or more concussions as a trigger point. Multiple concussions can cause exponentially higher rates of ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, premature senility and dementia, elevated rates of depression and Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.”

Steinberg added that “after being involved with six concussion seminars and understanding the depth of this danger we never have been able to find a way to stop the concussion from occurring or do much to treat the consequences.”

But there is “hope,” according to Steinberg. “One of the organizers of the concussion event, Gerald Commissiong is CEO of Amarantus BioScience, is searching for a way to cure the symptoms.”

He also highlighted “Dr. Jacob VanLandingham, who’s Florida based firm Prevacus is getting close to a solution. Former athlete Christopher Nowinski has done groundbreaking work in this field. There are many groups across the country racing to find a cure for concussion impairment.”

And for this reason and others, there is hope.

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Noted Sports Agent Talks Concussions & the Future

In a recent article, sports agent Leigh Steinberg reflects on today’s concussion issue, both in retrospect and going forward. For some period of time, Steinberg has been alarmed “about the lack of certainty for long term consequences caused by concussions suffered by (his) superstar NFL clients.”

After much research and testing of former athletes, the obvious now stares us in the face—an epidemic is at hand, not just in football but in sports in general. Today’s athlete trains harder, is stronger, and plays faster with unmatched power. As Steinberg states, “the physics of the collision have changed.”

Studies seem to indicate that three or more concussions are a trigger point. Being concussed multiple times “can cause exponentially higher rates of ALS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, premature senility and dementia, elevated rates of depression and Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.” Steinberg writes that, “An offensive lineman playing in high school, college and the NFL could retire having suffered 10,000 low-level brain events–the aggregate having the same effect on the brain as a small number of dramatic hits.”

In the midst of such devastating consequences, Steinberg has repeatedly asked this question: “Why the same technological innovation which can send a space launch to Mars can’t be employed in protective devices and healing modalities.”

Hope may be on the way as “a group of researchers and technologists are finally addressing the problem.”

At a recent Concussion Awareness Summit in Minneapolis conducted by Brewer Sports and visionary Jack Brewer, the focus was on education and a further commitment to awareness. Since many groups across the country are racing to find a cure for concussion impairment, this Summit gave them the opportunity to compare information.

Steinberg goes on to report that he is “close to announcing a new non-profit foundation to promote awareness and research.” The foundation is to be called “Athlete’s Speak with iconic athletes on the Board backed by…leading neurologists as an advisory committee.”

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