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Third Annual Concussion Summit to be Held April 23-24 in Niagara Falls

The third annual Concussion Summit will be held April 23-24 at Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The keynote speakers include:

Sean Pronger — a Canadian former professional ice-hockey player who grew up in Dryden, Ontario, and played in the National Hockey League from 1995 to 2004.

Dr. Charles H. Tator — Chair of Neurosurgery at the University of Toronto, and founder of ThinkFirst, Canada, a national brain and spinal cord injury foundation.

Dr. T. Blaine Hoshizaki – developer of the Neurotrauma Impact Research Laboratory at the University of Ottawa with the following vision: “Head injuries will become a rare and inconsequential part of athletic and leisure activities.”

Dr. Kirstin Weerdenburg – a Pediatric Emergency Physician, she has a special research interest in concussion, particularly parent and health care provider knowledge of concussion and its management.

Dr. Patrick J. Bishop — Professor, Department of Kinesiology, at the University of Waterloo, with a research interest in trying to understand the mechanics associated with catastrophic injury, especially those to the cervical spine and head and on how to reduce the risk associated with such injuries.

For the agenda and more information, click here:


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AAN Applauds President Obama’s Call for Greater Awareness of Sports Concussion

What follows is a statement from the American Academy of Neurology about the concussion summit that was held yesterday at the White House:

“The American Academy of Neurology, the world’s largest association of neurologists with 28,000 members, applauds President Obama’s call today for greater awareness of sports concussion. As the trusted authority on diagnosing and managing concussion, the AAN is supportive of the initiatives the White House announced, including a national concussion database and a partnership between the Department of Defense and the National Collegiate Athletic Association to fund a $30 million, widespread clinical study of college athletes and concussion.

“You only get one brain and it’s important to treat it well and follow the American Academy of Neurology’s guideline recommendations on sports concussion. Among the most important recommendations the Academy has made is that any athlete suspected of experiencing a concussion should immediately be removed from play.

“AAN sports concussion guideline co-author Christopher Giza, MD, represented the Academy at today’s White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit, along with former pro football player Ben Utecht, who experienced a career-ending traumatic brain injury in 2009 while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals.

“To learn more about concussion, visit AAN.com/Concussionor download the Academy’s new app, Concussion Quick Check, to quickly help coaches and athletic trainers recognize the signs of concussion. – Timothy A. Pedley, MD, FAAN, President, American Academy of Neurology.”

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NFL Committee Leaders Talk Concussions at Special League Meeting

Leaders of the NFL Competition Committee, the Owners Committee on Health and Safety, and the Head, Neck and Spine Committee met together for the first time last week in Dallas, where they discussed, among other things, the balance of protecting players from concussions, while keeping the sport competitive.

The relevant participants were Rich McKay (Atlanta Falcons CEO & President), Dr. John York (San Francisco 49ers Co-Chairman) and Dr. Richard Ellenbogen.

“Rules make a difference,” said Dr. Ellenbogen, who recently attended the Concussion in Sport 4th International Concussion Consensus Conference with Dr. York in Zurich, Switzerland on behalf of the NFL. “You can make a sport safer by making rules that make sense, make the game fun and interesting, and at the same time, lower the concussion rate.”

The league said that McKay, who will work with the NFL Players Association to formulate preliminary rule proposals for 2013, agreed with Dr. Ellenbogen’s sentiments. McKay emphasized recently enhanced protections for defenseless players.

“If you look at the way those hits were made five years ago versus today, you will see a change,” McKay said. “You will see the target lowered. You will see more guys hitting in here [the chest] and you will see fewer guys hitting up here [references head and neck area]. That is what we have wanted and that is what we get.”

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