Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

Sports Concussion Lecture at American Association for Justice Annual Convention

 

I am honored to be invited to lecture at the American Association for Justice, Annual Convention on the Program, Pediatric and Adolescent Traumatic Brain Injuries, to be held on July 27, 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland.

My title of my presentation is, From Concussion to the Classroom and Playing Field.  I will be discussing the legal issues in sports concussion management in the class room and on the athletic field. 

The program is presented by the association’s Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.  The learning objectives of the all day program are:

1.       Educate about diagnosing and treating

2.       Recognition of signs and symptoms of traumatic brain injury (TBI) by attorneys

3.       Prevention measures that can be implemented 8:40 am         

April 21, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Current Affairs

Traumatic Brain Injury Course at George Washington University Law School Featured in NY Times Article

This semester I had the privilege of teaching the first ever course on traumatic brain injury (TBI) law in a law school at The George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C.

The course reviewed the complicated issues that confront the legal profession in the framework of the civil justice system following traumatic brain injury, introducing students to the broad and wide-ranging legal implications of TBI in children and adults.

With the recent law suit and its potential settlement, new research on the long-term repercussions to returning service members after seemingly minor brain trauma, and constant stories in the news of children suffering traumatic brain injury playing sports, there is a burgeoning interest in concussions and brain injury.  In a variety of legal settings, the brain is being placed on trial with increasing frequency, encompassing multitude of civil issues that were reviewed in this thirteen week course.

For the past thirteen weeks we have delved into the legal problems that confront attorneys representing victims of brain trauma, both in and out of the courtroom. The course looks at brain injury from the practical view point of attorneys charged with the responsibility of assisting individuals suffering with a brain injury in a variety of situations such as contested court proceedings, educational issues, insurance benefits, and obtaining government benefits and services. We also explore legislative initiatives on concussion management; issues of liability following sports incurred brain injury; and evidentiary issues pertaining to the admissibility of expert testimony in a traumatic brain injury case.

Earlier this week, I was honored that the New York Times published an article describing the course and our mission to educate the next generation of attorneys. Concussion Cases Inspire New Course at George Washington’s Law School.

I will again be teaching this seminar at George Washington University Law School this fall.

April 18, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
BrainLine
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
DVBIC/ DCoE
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
NICoE
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
BrainScope
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
ConcussionWise
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
FITBIR
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
HRSA
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
NASHIA
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
NIH
Rehabilitation Specialists
ReMed
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
Panelists
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Moderator
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

 

 

March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Brain Injury Veteran Issues, Current Affairs

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capitol Hill-2014

Tomorrow is Brain Injury Awareness Day on Capital Hill.  I intend to partipate in the day's events to advocate on behalf of individuals with brain injury and their families and look forward to you joining me.

Here is an updated schedule of the day's events:

Brain Injury Awareness Day 2014

10:00 AM - 2:00 PM              

Brain Injury Awareness Fair
First Floor Foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building

2014 Exhibitors
Brain Injury Assoc. of America
American Association of Hyperbaric Awareness
BAE Systems
BrainLine
Brain Trauma Foundation
Centers for Disease Control
DVBIC/ DCoE
Kessler Foundation/Kessler Institute
NICoE
VA Office of Research and Development
VISTA Life Sciences
American Academy of Neurology
American College of Radiology
American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association
American Music Therapy Association
American Physical Therapy Association
American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
Arms Forces
"@" Attention Fund
Assoc. of Rehab Nurses
Blinded Veterans
Bob Woodruff Foundation
Brain Injury Alliance of Washington
Brain Injury Services, Inc.
BrainScope
Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine
Cheer USA
ConcussionWise
Disability Rights New Jersey
Disability Services Center, JBS International
Elder Hart
FITBIR
Gallant Few
Higher Ground
HRSA
International Brain Research Foundation
JFK Rehabilitation Center
MedStar National Rehab Hospital
Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center
Mount Sinai Brain Injury Research Center
NASHIA
National Disability Rights Network
Neuro Kinetics, Inc.
NeuroVive Pharmaceuticals
New Jersey Brain Injury Association
NIH
Rehabilitation Specialists
ReMed
Rusk Rehab at NYU Lagone Medical Center
Team River Runner

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM                

Briefing: "Returning to Work: Making Headway After Brain Injury" 
Panelists
John O'Neill, Ph.D., CRC
Director, Employment and Disability Research
Kessler Foundation 

Dr. Grant Baldwin
Director of the Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention
Centers for Disease Control 

Dr. Jim Kelly
National Intrepid Center for Excellence
Walter Reed

Sgt. John Irwin
Veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan
United States Army

Brian Nichols
Warrior to Work
Wounded Warrior Project

Daniel Chamberlain, JD 
Moderator
Brain Injury Association of America                                  

U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Meeting Room South

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM    
Reception Celebrating Brain Injury Awareness Month
The Gold Room 2168, Rayburn House Office Building

 

 

March 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

The risk of concussions and soccer

In a paper published this week in the journal, Brain Injury, researchers conducting a review of the medical literature on the risks of concussions while playing soccer, warned that heading the ball in soccer and the long term consequences of repetitive heading needs further research and study.

With considerable attention being focused on the potential long-term cognitive and behavioral consequences for athletes who suffer acute or repeat concussions or multiple "sub-concussive" head impacts -- blows to the head not causing symptoms of concussions the researchers observed,   "The practice of heading, which might occur thousands of times over a player's career, carries unknown risks, but may uniquely contribute to cognitive decline or impairment in the short- or long-term," said Dr. Schweizer, a neuroscientist. "Thus, soccer players present a unique opportunity to study whether cumulative sub-concussive impacts affect cognitive functioning, similar to that of concussions."

The study looked at research papers that studied the incidence of concussion in soccer, and found that concussions accounted for 5.8 per cent to 8.6 per cent of total injuries sustained during games. One study found that 62.7 per cent of varsity soccer players had suffered symptoms of a concussion during their playing careers, yet only 19.2 per cent realized it.  Another found that 81.8 per cent of athletes who had suffered a concussion had experienced two or more and that players with a history of concussion had a 3.15 times greater odds of sustaining another one than those who had never had a concussion. One study found concussions sustained during soccer accounted for 15 per cent of the total number of concussions in all sports.  In particular, girls' soccer accounted for 8.2 per cent of sports-related concussions, the second highest sport after football.

Studies on the long-term effects of heading found greater memory, planning and perceptual deficits in forwards and defenders, players who execute more headers. One study found professional players reporting the highest prevalence of heading during their careers did poorest in tests of verbal and visual memory as well as attention. Another found older or retired soccer players were significantly impaired in conceptual thinking, reaction time and concentration. The few studies that used advanced imaging techniques found physical changes to the brains in players who had concussions.

February 11, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

Helmets cannot prevent concussions

Concussions and traumatic brain injury occur as a result of the rapid movement of the brain within the skull. The brain floats within the skull cavity.  When the brain moves forward or backward and rotates, it brushed up against the sharp ridges and protrusions of the skull. 

A helmet may be effective in preventing or reducing the chances of a skull fracture or scalp laceration but despite misleading claims by helmet manufactuers, a football helmet or any other sporting helmet cannot protect against the shearing, brusing or tearing of brain tissue that takes place when the brain moves within the skull.

A paper presented at the recent meeting of the Amercian Academy of Pediatrics, National Conference in Orlando, Florida found that "neither any specific brand of football helmet nor custom mouth guards result in fewer concussions in kids who use them"  The study authors conclueded, "Despite what manufacturers might claim, newer and more expensive eqipment many not reduce concussion risk."

 

 

November 7, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

Coaches and players cannot make return to play decisions

The New York Times contains an interesting opinion column today, Time to Remove Coaches From Concussion Decisions, discussing the importance of letting health care professionals rather than players or coaches determine when an athlete should be removed from a game because of a suspected concussion. 

Without a doubt, the decision to be removed or to return to play cannot be left to the athlete or the coach who are both vested with conflicts in their decision making and judgment on this important issue.

Here is some of the important opinions contained in the article:

"What sports has to do, though, is remove the coach and the player in deciding if an athlete can return from a blow to the head. Player and coach are driven by adrenaline and by impulse, and are not qualified in medical matters."

"No coach should make that decision with head injury, and no team physician either. Neurologists and other experts studying the brains of deceased soccer players and investigating former boxers, hockey and rugby players and equestrian riders have the same mantra. They would never attempt to fully diagnose on the field the repercussions of what is going on inside the skull of an injured player. A tiny bleed can lead to a clot, and it might take days to develop."

 

 

November 6, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports

Let's get serious about concussions

The following editorial was published today in the Boston Globe:

NHL should get serious about violence and head trauma

Despite Having nothing to do with the actual sport of hockey, which at its best is a blend of grace and power on skates, fighting has become an inseparable part of the pro hockey experience. While other team sports are cracking down on on-field violence, the National Hockey League implicitly accepts fighting as a part of the sport — or, more cynically, a vehicle for riling up fans. But it’s time for the league to reassess the role of fistfights in its games, both for the safety of its players and the example they set for young athletes.

Evidence is now emerging that repeated head trauma, of the type meted out by team “enforcers,” can lead to the same chronic traumatic encephalopathy that is striking football players. On the opening night of the NHL season, a fight resulted in a Montreal Canadiens player being knocked unconscious as his head hit the ice. A preseason fight resulted in a concussion and broken jaw for a rookie for the Buffalo Sabres.

Finally, some leaders within the sport are saying that enough is enough. At a conference on concussions recently, Michael Stuart, chief medical officer for USA Hockey and codirector of the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine center, said it was time to ban all fighting.

Whether it is the upright blows to the head or the crashing of heads to the ice, Stuart said, “Those forces acting on the brain are alarmingly high.” Joining him in the call was Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden, who declared, “Science has responded to the game on the ice. Now it’s time for the game to respond to the science.”

The game should respond to the science with automatic ejections, suspensions, and major fines for players who fight on the ice. Fighting is banned in American collegiate hockey and in youth hockey leagues in North America. It is time for the professionals to follow suit.

October 24, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

The injustice of the NFL brain injury settlement

Today's New York Times reports, Many Ex-Players Many Be Ineligible to Share in Concussion Settlement.

it is shameful that this settlement excludes players suffering the effects of the post concussion syndrome, complicated mild traumatic brain injury and cognitive, behavioral and emotional difficultes that do not impair all of their activities of daily living.

I am honored to have been consulted and quoted in this story. Click here.

October 18, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law

In response to NFL Commissioner Goodell

I am honored that the Huffington Post has published the response of Shana De Caro, chair-elect of the traumatic brain injury litigation group and myself  “Players and Public Lose While NFL Reigns Victorious,”  to
Commissioner Goodell’s recent comments on the NFL settlement and the amazing expose on what the NFL knew and when they knew it which aired last night on PBS, Front Line documentary, “League of Denial”

 

 

October 9, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack