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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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Mayo Clinic Partners with Athletes’ Performance to Better Address Concussions, Other Sports-Related Injuries

The Mayo Clinic and Athletes’ Performance (http://www.athletesperformance.com/) announced this week that they have signed a letter of intent to partner in advancing proactive health and sports performance. The collaboration will include research and development, integrated performance solutions, advanced diagnostics, access to leading specialists, and the complete continuum of quality health and sports medicine care.

Concussions are a prime target for the collaboration as Athletes’ Performance will help Mayo Clinic physicians in Arizona “serve patients who have experienced a concussion or other sports-related injury, providing access to the most advanced diagnostic and treatment programs, world class performance solutions and injury prevention training.”

Dan Burns, CEO of Athletes’ Performance added that the partnership “combines Athletes’ Performance’s integrated human performance solutions with Mayo Clinic’s world-renowned medical care, research and health education to provide a comprehensive, proactive approach to health, wellness and human performance.”

Beginning in 2014, Athletes’ Performance’s team of performance specialists will deliver human performance programs in Mayo Clinic’s recently announced Sports Medicine Center expansion in Rochester, Minn. The Center will focus on, among other things, concussion research.

Athletes’ Performance is known “as the premiere training organization for elite athletes and elite military operators, as well as a leader in applied research and innovation to advance human performance,” according to a joint press release. “Athletes’ Performance offers programs and services for professional and amateur athletes, the military, and forward thinking corporations around the world.”

The two organizations also announced that they plan to initiate “collaborative research projects and educational campaigns around health and wellness, performance training and the prevention and treatment of concussion and other sports-related injuries.”

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