Monthly Archives: March 2013

NYU Concussion Center to Offer Comprehensive Care

The NYU Langone Medical Center has launched the Concussion Center (CC), a multidisciplinary program staffed by adult and pediatric professionals, to better deal with what is becoming a more widespread and complex condition. The CC was launched on March 19 and introduced at a community symposium under the subject, “Head Injuries and Concussion in Sports: What You Need to Know.”

CDC data shows that annually in the U.S. 1.7 million people experience some form of sudden brain trauma. Concussions represent at least 75% of traumatic brain injuries, commonly know as TBI.

“We are only just beginning to understand why some people are more susceptible to long term affects of a head trauma – and there is a tremendous need to continue educating the public about the realities of treating and preventing additional injury following a concussion,” said NYU Langone TBI expert Dr. Steven Flanagan.

A wide range of disciplines constitutes the make-up of the CC’s clinical care, including these specialty fields: “neurology and neurosurgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, orthopaedic sports medicine, emergency medicine, nursing, neuropsychology, neuroradiology and occupational and physical therapy – including vestibular (balance) and vision therapy.”

Research and education is a prime objective of the CC also, making “services and resources available to the community, schools and families that promote awareness, prevention and prompt recognition of head injuries.”

To learn more about the CC’s program, visit www.NYULMC.org/concussion. A replay of the symposium will be available in early April.

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New York Times Reports NFL Doctor Downplayed CTE

The New York Times reported this morning that a doctor on the N.F.L.’s head, neck and spine committee sought to downplay chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or C.T.E., in “a workplace safety fact sheet based on a study of degenerative brain disease in retired NFL players.”

The paper noted that “against this backdrop of public awareness, the N.F.L. has drastically shifted its position on head injuries in recent years, introducing rule changes and promoting education. But the league has expressed skepticism about the possibility of a link between on-field head injuries and C.T.E., a sentiment captured in the league doctor’s request to the federal safety agency (preparing the sheet).”

The doctor claimed C.T.E. was “not fully understood” and because it was not listed on the death certificates of the retired players in the study and thus lacked “epidemiological validity,” according to the paper. “He suggested that traumatic brain injury, or T.B.I., be used instead because it ‘may accomplish what you want to say in more established medical terms.’”

Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, which wrote the fact sheet, reportedly “rejected the league doctor’s proposed change. Independent medical experts said such a request was inappropriate and not in line with prevailing research.”

The full story can be read at: http://nyti.ms/WYPqbW

(may require a subscription)

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Sports Lawyers Association Conference to Touch on Concussions

The Sports Lawyers Association’s 39th Annual Conference will be held May 16-18 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Not surprisingly, concussions and the legal impact of head trauma on professional athletes will be among the topics.

Speaking on the May 16 panel are Dr. Kevin Crutchfield and Tim English.

Dr. Crutchfield is one of the country’s foremost experts on concussions and how they affect the brain. He is the director of the Comprehensive Sports Concussion Program for LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, Md., where he provides care to athletes suffering from concussions. Dr. Crutchfield also serves as an independent neurologist for the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens, MLB’s Baltimore Orioles and MSL’s D.C. United.

English is the senior staff counsel for the NFL Players Association. For the past 27 years, he has been responsible for handling NLRB matters and other labor law issues for the NFLPA including filing and litigating player grievances involving contract, injury and disciplinary disputes.  English has also been a long-time member of the NFLPA’s health and safety committee.

Moderating the panel will be Richard Berthelsen, former general counsel for the NFLPA..

To learn more about the conference and how to register, visit http://www.sportslaw.org/events/conference.cfm

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