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With a theme of “Grey Matters: Discerning the Impacts of Head Injury,” the Krost Symposium 2015 will be held October 7-8 in Houston. Dr. Robert Cantu and Chris Nowinski will give the keynote address for the conference, which will be held at Texas Lutheran University on October 8 at 8:30 a.m. in the Jackson Auditorium.
The event, which is free and open to the public, focuses on raising awareness and understanding of brain injury as guest speakers discuss prevention and education regarding sports-related head trauma, cognitive rehabilitation, and the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition to awareness, the symposium will review strategies in preventing, treating, and rehabilitating brain injury, and critically examine the effects that brain injury and these interventions have specifically in the athletics and armed forces communities both now and as society moves into the future.
The schedule of events follows:
Tuesday, October 6, 8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (pre-event) on the Library Lawn
Pre-event Film Screening
Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis directed by Steve James
Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis will act as a primer and kick off to this year’s Krost Symposium. This film is inspired by the book of the same title written by Krost 2015 speaker Christopher Nowinski.
Wednesday, October 7, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m. in Jackson Auditorium
Giesber Keynote Address
Robert Cantu, M.D. and Chris Nowinski – Co-Founders of the Concussion Legacy Foundation
Thursday, October 8, 8:30 – 9:30 a.m. in Jackson Auditiorium
“Brain, Mind, and Soul: Reintegrating after Military Deployment”
Drew Helmer, M.D. – Director of the War Related Illness and Injury Study Center, U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs
Thursday, October 8, 9:30 – 10:30 a.m. in Jackson Auditorium
“Short and Long term management of TBI-related Symptoms”
Kim Gorgens, Ph.D. – Director of Continuing Education and Professional Development, University of Denver Graduate School of Professional Psychology
Thursday, October 8, 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. in Jackson Auditorium
Panel session discussing personal and clinical experience with head injury from the military, athletics and neurological perspectives
Robert Cantu, M.D.
Co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation
Dr. Robert Cantu serves as chief of neurosurgery service, department of surgery chairman, and director of sports medicine at Emerson Hospital in Concord, Mass. He has authored more than 350 scientific publications, including 22 books on neurosurgery and sports medicine, and has served as associate editor and on the editorial boards of multiple sports medicine publications. Dr. Cantu published the first ever return-to-play guidelines for sports concussions in 1986 and devised the first grading system for concussions, providing medical professionals with concussion management guidelines where none existed before. As medical director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, Dr. Cantu collected data that has resulted in sports safety improvements; most notably football rule changes concerning tackling and blocking, the establishment of football helmet standards, improved on-the-field medical care, and coaching techniques. He also serves as a clinical professor of neurosurgery at Boston University School of Medicine, adjunct professor of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, co-director of the Neurological Sports Injury Center at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and neurosurgical consultant to the Boston College Eagles football team and Boston Cannons professional lacrosse team. He has appeared on 60 Minutes, NFL Today, ABC World News Tonight, ESPN’s Outside the Lines, and HBO’s Real Sports.
Co-founder of the Concussion Legacy Foundation
Chris Nowinski is co-founder and executive director of the Concussion Legacy Foundation (formerly Sports Legacy Institute), a nonprofit organization dedicated to solving the sports concussion crisis. He also serves as a co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy (CSTE) at Boston University School of Medicine. A former Harvard football player and WWE professional wrestler, Nowinski was forced to retire after he suffered a series of concussions in 2003. Diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome, he began a quest to better understand this condition. It wasn’t until he visited renowned neurosurgeon Robert Cantu that he was first exposed to medical research that revealed how concussions and brain trauma were misunderstood in the sports world. Realizing the lack of awareness among athletes, coaches, and even medical professionals—that ultimately only cost him his career and threatened the health and well being of athletes of all ages—led him to write the critically acclaimed book, Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis. Through his continued advocacy and investigative work, he has raised this issue into the national spotlight. To continue this groundbreaking research, he co-founded the Sports Legacy Institute with Dr. Cantu in 2008. As of 2012, the CSTE has studied the brains of over 140 athletes postmortem and has redefined our understanding of chronic traumatic encephalopathy, proving the disease extends into college and youth football, hockey, and other sports. His team’s research has been featured in almost every major newspaper and television network. His May 2007 profile on HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel won the Emmy for Sports Journalism. A second HBO Real Sports episode aired in January 2010, a third in August 2010 and a fourth in November 2012. In 2012, Nowinski received the United States Sports Academy Distinguished Service Award. Nowinski also serves on the Ivy League Multi-Sports Concussion Committee, the National Football League Players Association Mackey/White TBI Research Committee, and on the board of directors for the Brain Injury Association of America.
For more information, visit http://www.tlu.edu/events/krost-symposium-2015/
Thirty-five of the leading U.S. concussion clinicians and researchers are scheduled to join together Oct. 15-16 at UPMC for an unprecedented meeting designed to propose and share nationally the participants’ agreement on the best practices, protocols and active therapies for treating concussions today. The conference discussions, resulting in a Statement of Agreement to be published in the journal Neurosurgery, will be led by chair Micky Collins, Ph.D., along with co-directors Anthony Kontos, Ph.D., and David Okonkwo, M.D., Ph.D., of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh.
Also participating from UPMC are: Anne Mucha, Ph.D., physical therapy; Joseph Maroon, M.D., neurosurgery, Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL consultant; and Tony Yates, M.D., internal medicine, Pittsburgh Steelers and NFL head, neck and spine committee.
Among the visitors actively participating and the guests attending and auditing the invite-only conference are representatives, board members and/or consultants with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), Major League Baseball, the NCAA, NFL, NFL Players Association (NFLPA), USA Football, USA Rugby and U.S. Soccer, among others.
The conference’s visiting expert participants, confirmed to date:
- John Almquist, certified athletic trainer (A.T.C.), Fairfax Concussion Center, Fairfax, Va.
- Mark Barisa, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Baylor Institute of Rehab, Frisco, Texas
- Julian Bailes, M.D., neurosurgery, NorthShore University Health/chairman Pop Warner Football medical advisory board, Chicago
- Jeff Bazarian, M.D., emergency medicine, University of Rochester/Institute of Medicine, Rochester, N.Y.
- Josh Bloom, M.D., primary care, Duke Medicine/Carolina Hurricanes, Cary, N.C.
- David Brody, M.D., Ph.D., neurology, Washington U./NFL Neurological Player Care Unit site director, St. Louis, Mo.
- Robert Cantu, M.D., neurosurgery, Emerson Hospital and Boston U./co-chair NFLPA equipment and rules committee and co-founder Sports Legacy Institute, Boston
- Javier Cardenas, M.D., neurology, Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center/Arizona State and Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Jay Clugston, M.D., family medicine, University of Florida/UF, Southeastern Conference and Arena Football, Gainesville, Fla.
- Randy Cohen, A.T.C., University of Arizona/UA associate athletic director, Tucson, Ariz.
- R.J. Elbin, Ph.D., neuropsychology, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark.
- Richard Ellenbogen, M.D., neurosurgery, U. of Washington/Seattle Seahawks and co-chair NFL head, neck and spine committee, Seattle, Wash.
- Janna Fonseca, A.T.C., Carolina Sports Concussion Clinic, Cary, N.C.
- Gerard Gioia, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Children’s National Medical Center/Washington Capitals and Baltimore Ravens, Washington, D.C.
- Kevin Guskiewicz, Ph.D., sports medicine, University of North Carolina/ NFL head, neck and spine committee; brain-injury and retired athlete research, Chapel Hill, N.C.
- Rob Heyer, M.D., internal medicine, Carolinas Healthcare/Carolina Panthers and president NFL Physicians Society, Charlotte, N.C.
- Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., behavioral neuroscience, U. of Miami/Miami Project, UM and Dade County schools, Miami, Fla.
- Grant Iverson, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Harvard Medical School /International Brain Injury Association board of governors, Boston
- Geoffrey Manley, M.D., Ph.D., neurosurgery, University of California, San Francisco/contact investigator NIH and DoD TBI consortia, San Francisco
- Tom McCallister, M.D., psychiatry, University of Indiana/ NCAA-DoD concussion consortium administrator, Indianapolis, Ind.
- Tamara Valovich McLeod, Ph.D., A.T.C., sports medicine, Arizona School of Health Sciences/U.S. Brain Injury Alliance, Mesa, Ariz.
- Mike McCrea, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Medical College of Wisconsin/DoD advisor on traumatic brain injury and NFL head, neck and spine committee, Milwaukee, Wisc.
- Beth Pieroth, Ph.D., neuropsychology, NorthShore University Health/Chicago Bears, Blackhawks and White Sox, Chicago
- Ken Podell, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Methodist Concussion Center/Houston Astros, Texans and Rice U., Houston
- Matt Pombo, M.D., orthopaedic surgery, Emory University Healthcare, Atlanta
- Allen Sills, M.D., neurosurgery, Vanderbilt University/Nashville Predators and Mississippi State, Nashville, Tenn.
- Gary Solomon, Ph.D., neuropsychology, Vanderbilt University/Nashville Predators and Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Tenn.
- Danny Thomas, M.D., pediatric emergency medicine, Medical College of Wisconsin and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.
- Ross Zafonte, D.O., physical medicine and rehab, Harvard Medical School /American Congress of Rehab Medicine, Boston
“We want to move the needle, and this meeting could do that,” said Dr. Collins, executive and clinical director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program. “Neuropsychologists, neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, physiatrists, family medicine physicians, emergency medicine physicians, physical therapists, certified athletic trainers, researchers – people from across so many disciplines – are uniting for the first-ever conference to reach agreement on active treatments for concussion. Awareness with no solution is called hysteria; awareness with a solution is called science.”
Dr. Kontos is the research director for the UPMC Concussion Program and associate professor in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. Dr.Okonkwo is a professor of neurological surgery and clinical director of the Brain Trauma Research Center at the Pitt School of Medicine.
The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine present “Concussion: A National Challenge” – a convening of the nation’s top concussion scientists, engineers, clinicians and researchers, to educate and inform the public of the scientifically based, factual information about the detection, treatment and prevention of concussions.
From June 23-24, 2015 at the Global Center for Health Innovation, approximately 20 of the nation’s leaders in basic science, medicine and engineering will offer lay, informative presentations exploring the known medical issues and the potential technologies that will foster greater safety for the public. The goal of this meeting is to help set a national agenda leading to better brain health through the detection and prevention of concussion, as well as to identify the most promising approaches that should be pursued in three major areas of sports, battlefield and automobiles.
“It is the mission of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to advise the government and the general public about critical issues facing our nation,” said Hunter Peckham, PhD, Distinguished University Professor, Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics, Case Western Reserve University, and NAE member. “Since 2000, Case Western Reserve University has hosted several NAE regional or topical conferences on subjects such as Biomedical Technology, Energy, Vaccine Production and Shale Gas. But concussion is different; everyone knows of someone that has suffered from concussion.”
The conference is hosted and co-sponsored by Case Western Reserve University. Peckham is Chair of “Concussion: A National Challenge,” while Jay Alberts, PhD, the Edward F. and Barbara A. Bell Family Endowed Chair, Director, Concussion Center, Cleveland Clinic, is the Conference General Co-Chair. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, MD, CEO, Cleveland Clinic and IOM member is the event Honorary Chair.
More than 1,000 participants are expected to attend the event, with main seating in the Global Center for Health Innovation Junior Ballroom. Overflow seating will be available at the Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public with advance registration.
“Concussion has come into national awareness as a major health crisis facing the public. With the rapid advancements in neurological medicine it has become clear that repetitive brain injury, even at relatively low energy levels, is a source of brain trauma that faces our youth, men and women, and elderly – from playing sports, to automobile collisions or falls, to the battlefield – there is a critical need to prevent and detect the neurological effects of these injuries through the cooperative exploration of experts from different disciplines within medicine and engineering as we jointly seek solutions,” said Alberts.