Tag Archives: therapy
Sheridan Healthcare, Inc., a hospital-based, multispecialty physician services company, has announced it is partnering with Jupiter Medical Center and football legend Joe Namath on a clinical trial to study the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy for treating traumatic brain injury. The trial will be conducted through the recently-opened Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at Jupiter Medical Center in Jupiter, Fla.
After sustaining multiple concussions playing 13 seasons of professional football with the New York Jets, Namath was encouraged by his personal friend Dr. Lee Fox, a Sheridan Healthcare Radiology Medical Director, to try hyperbaric oxygen treatment at Jupiter Medical Center. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy—which involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized chamber—stimulates the healing process by allowing increased oxygen flow to an injured area.
After reportedly “seeing improvements in Namath’s brain function, sleep, cognition and memory function,” Dr. Fox and Dr. Barry Miskin, chief of surgery at Jupiter Medical Center, developed a protocol for using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for TBI and received approval from the Food and Drug Administration to launch a clinical trial. Namath has committed to raise $10 million in support of the trial.
“I sustained my share of concussions playing pro football, and had recently experienced some concerns such as fatigue and decreased cognition. Also, the 2012 suicide of star linebacker Junior Seau of the San Diego Chargers left a lasting impression on me when I learned that it may have been caused by chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a degenerative brain disease often a result of multiple concussions. So together with Jupiter Medical Center, the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center was created to help those currently suffering, and to potentially prevent others from enduring the debilitating long-term effects of TBI,” said Namath.
“We are thrilled to have received FDA approval to move forward in conducting this study that may lead to a treatment option for athletes and others struggling with TBI,” said Dr. Fox. “Having Joe’s support is a huge boon to both the financial needs of the research and to the visibility of our work. We hope his support will lead to a successful outcome for our study and more research in the area of TBI.”
Miracle or sham?
Time will tell.
On one side, Bernie Kosar, the former NFL quarterback, says he has experienced a miracle as far as relief from the lingering effects of dozens of concussions he suffered during his career. He credited Dr. Rick Sponaugle, who runs a wellness institute in Palm Harbor, outside Tampa, as providing “a gift from God” with treatment, with a “proprietary” IV and supplement program combined with a holistic approach that included improved nutrition.
Some are suspicious. Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post wrote a terrific piece today at http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/sports/football/kosar-calls-concussion-treatment-gift-from-god-but/nTtgg/
Dr. Robert A. Stern, a Ph.D. and professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Boston University’s Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, told Habib:
“I find Dr. Sponaugle’s claims are not at all based on any known or accepted scientific findings. I view them as unacceptable, misleading and potentially quite harmful.”
But Kosar, who held a news conference, in insistent:
“I see friends of mine and I think a lot of them are losing hope. There are hundreds, if not thousands of guys, who are dealing with issues and pain and stuff. … They have an option and something that can genuinely help them get better in a short amount a time. You don’t have to live the rest of your life in pain and agony.”
Sports Reaction Center (SRC), a sports physical therapy center that claims to have “a cutting-edge concussion management program” recently shared its take on Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.’s decision to ban “some common drills and tell coaches to spend two-thirds of their practice time on non-contact activities.”
Neil Chasan, owner of the SRC, noted that the organization’s restrictions are based on the fact that most concussions happen in practice. These restrictions are:
• “Coaches will only be allowed to have full-speed hitting—including one-on-one blocking and tackling, contact between linemen and scrimmages—for one-third of their weekly practice time. (Previously, there were no restrictions on contact time.)
• “Also barred are any head-to-head, full-speed blocking or tackling drills in which players start more than three yards apart.”
Chasan added that “players, parents and coaches need to understand the steps to take in case a concussion does occur, and how to prevent concussions in the first place.
“Football players are tough—but individual players may not be aware that they have suffered a concussion. This is exactly why the Lysted Law requires that kids are pulled out of a game when a concussion is suspected, returning only after being cleared by a suitable professional. For this reason it’s imperative to get screened so that return to the sport decisions can be made intelligently, safely and when appropriate,” he said.
Chasan went on to say that baseline testing “should be the first precaution taken by athletes competing in a contact sport. A battery of baseline tests gathers information on an athlete’s normal brain function, which can then be compared to post-concussion testing in order to determine when they can safely return to action.
“ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and BESS (Balance Error Scoring Testing) help to understand multiple measures of cognitive function. The clinic also performs tests using its OptoJump technology to measure dual functions of the brain while active.”
To measure reaction time, SRC uses a technology called D2 by Dynavision, which is an evaluation tool for head injuries, concussions and visual field deficits. The Dynavision D2 Visuomotor with a Tachistoscope “is widely used by athletes for reactive/cognitive training and testing,” according to Chasan.