Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Publications, Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Current Affairs
Concussion a Good Opening Gambit
Shana and I attended an advance screening of the movie Concussion, with a group of sports writers and newscasters. Will Smith gave a compelling performance as Bennet Omalu, and his quest to determine and understand the cause of a specific type of brain damage, later named CTE, first discovered in the brain of former Pittsburgh Steeler, Mike Webster. This was Omalu’s movie and his story, based on the 2009 GQ exposé, Game Brain by Jeanne Marie Laskas. This was not a documentary.
The title for the film, “Concussion” is misleading. The film is not about concussions and the failure on the part of the league to inform players about the signs and symptoms of concussions, the need to refrain from returning to play before a player is healed, or the potential life-long consequences of a concussion. It is a film about the work of Bennet Omalu and his efforts to understand Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).
Importantly the film is based upon a true story, but is not a complete story. It is an excellent presentation of the path Omalu took and the painstaking investigation into the cause Mike Webster’s death. Omalu’s dogged pursuit of answers led to the discovery of the connection between football and brain damage and opened the door to further research. The movie indicated his conflict with the NFL in accepting this information, which the NFL still disputes.
This movie opens the door to a more important conversation, about trauma and brain damage that must continue. The cinematic decisions about the portrayals of different characters and the complete omission of any reference to the Concussion Legacy Foundation in Boston, the past and current role of Commissioner Goodell and the NFL marketing department in deflecting criticism were interesting choices made by the film’s writer and director.
It was a compelling introduction for the public to the health issues generated by trauma in football. This theme must be expanded. If this movie provokes a national conversation about the larger issues associated with all types of brain damage, from football, other sports and everyday accidents, then it has been a great public service. It would be misleading, if however, it leaves the impression that the problems have been remedied or that the only public health concern is CTE. This is the tip of the iceberg of the full-range of chronic life-altering effects of concussions.
Brain injury is a chronic condition with life-long consequences. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), each year there are over 200,000 visits to emergency departments by children under the age of 19 suffering concussion related problems from organized sports. Omitted from these statistics are visits to urgent care facilities, physicians’ offices, and cases where concussion is not the principal diagnosis. The CDC estimates that the accurate number is between 1.6 million to 3.8 million sports related concussions documented each year! This is a true public health crisis. Labeling a condition does not address treatment issues and how we, as a society, address the impact of a chronic condition that has consequences for families and society.
We applaud the efforts of all those involved in making this important film, and hope it engenders continued investigation and research into not only prevention, but improved identification and treatment options that will assist this vulnerable population.
SHANA DE CARO, ESQ. is a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America and immediate past chair of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.
MICHAEL V. KAPLEN, ESQ. is a Professorial Lecturer in Law teaching the only course in traumatic brain injury law at The George Washington University Law School, a member and immediate past chair of the New York State Traumatic Brain Injury Coordinating Council, three term president of the Brain Injury Association of New York State and a past chair of the American Association for Justice Traumatic Brain Injury Litigation Group.
DE CARO & KAPLEN, LLP is a New York based law firm with a focus on representing victims of traumatic brain injury throughout the nation. Shana and Michael are frequently invited to lecture attorneys and public advocacy groups nationwide on the legal issues pertaining to brain injury, public health concerns and the impact of brain injury on the lives of its victims.
Shana and Michael authored the New York Law Journal expert column on brain injury law and the chapter on brain injury law in the special issue of Psychiatric Clinics of North America.
Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention
Concussion Legacy Foundation Awards Ceremony this Evening in Boston, Mass
I will be in Boston, Mass this evening attending the annual awards ceremony for the Concussion Legacy Foundation, formally known as the Sports Legacy Institute. Foundation headed by Chris Nowinski has been instrumental in alerting the public to the dangers of concussion and brain damage in all sports; providing needed education on the signs and symptoms of concussions and most importantly leading efforts to keep players out when there is any suspicion of a concussion. The group through their affiliation with Boston University also has led efforts to understand and appreciate the effects of cumulative brain trauma and its causation to a Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). Keep up the great work!
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Broadcasts, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Rehabilitation
The Future of Brain Injury Rehabilitation-Free Webinar Sponsored by Brain Injury Association of America
The Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) has announced the scheduling of a free webinar to explore challenges in rehabilitation services following a brain injury under managed care medical systems. The webinar will be conducted by Bruce Gans, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer of the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, and chairman of the board of directors and CEO of the American Medical Rehabilitation Providers Association.
Details of the webinar are:
More Management/Less Care: What the Future Holds for Brain Injury Rehabilitation
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
3:00 p.m. Eastern (12:00 p.m. pacific)
To register for this FREE webinar, click here.
My partner, brain injury attorney, Shana De Caro serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Brain Injury Association of America.
Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law
DC Trial Lawyers Assoc. Brain Injury Symposium
I am honored to be presenting tomorrow at the Brain Injury Symposium sponsored by the Trial Lawyers Association of Metropolitan Washington DC at the Omni Shoreham Hotel beginning at 9 am. My presentation will provide an overview of a brain injury case from the perspective of a brain injury trial attorney. For further information, click here.
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events
Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury--Abstract Deadline
The Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury will take place on March 2-5, 2016, at the World Forum Conference Center in the Hague, the Netherlands.
The deadline for submission of abstracts is September 15, 2015.
For more information on abstact submission, click here.
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events
Brain Injury Association New York State Annual Conference and Professional Conference
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will host its 33rd Annual BIANYS Conference, featuring keynote speaker Gary Busey. Mr. Busey speaks all over the country about the challenges and triumphs of living every day with a Traumatic Brain Injury.
Dates: June 4-5, 2015 at the Albany Marriott, Albany, NY
Further information: click here.
On June 4, BIANYS, the association will also present the 2nd annual Professional Symposium, highlighting
research and rehabilitation services for individuals with brain injury which I am honored to co-chair. Learn
from distinguished voices in the field. Information on the professional symposium can be obtained by clicking here.
Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention
Team Physician: Legal Liability for Concussions and Brain Injury
I am honored to be able to address The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) 83rd Annual Scientific Meeting on Saturday, May 2, 2015 in Washington, D.C.
I will address this prestigious group of neurosurgeons on their role and legal responsibility for concussion and brain injury upon assuming the role of a team physician for youth sports.
My presentation is part of a half day special session “Neurosurgeon Team Physician” designed to provide an introduction for practicing neurosurgeons to become involved in the care of athletes in their community. Presenters will discuss topics such as concussion diagnosis and management, pre-participation screening for neurologic conditions, sideline and game management, how to work with athletic trainers and other sports medicine providers and spine and peripheral nerve problems in athletes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 248,418 children (age 19 or younger) were treated in U.S. emergency departments (ED) for sports and recreation-related injuries that included a diagnosis of concussion or TBI. From 2001 to 2009, the rate of ED visits for sports and recreation-related injuries with a diagnosis of concussion or TBI, alone or in combination with other injuries rose 57% among children (age 19 or younger).
Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events
Call For Abstracts-- Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury
The Eleventh World Congress on Brain Injury will be held at The Hague, The Netherlands from March 2-5, 2016
The World Congress has set an abstract deadline date for September 15, 2015
I have been informed that the abstract submission portal is now open. The International Brain Injury Association accepts the submission of original research on all brain injury topics.
The 2015 abstract categories are:
• Neurorehabilitation - activities and participation
• Neurorehabilitation - basic research
• Neurorehabilitation - case report/clinical research
• Neurorehabilitation - public policy
• Neurotrauma - basic research
• Neurotrauma - case report/clinical research
• Neurotrauma - health services and outcomes
• Neurotrauma - prevention and public health
• Technology - basic research
• Technology - clinical research/applications
For more information or to submit your abstract, click here.
Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events
Brain Injury Professional Symposium
The Brain Injury Association of New York State (BIANYS) will be hosting a full day professional symposium, Latest Developments in Brain Injury: Identification, Rehabilitation and Treatment on June 4, 2015 in Albany, New York at the Marriott Hotel.
I am co-chair of this program along with Steven Flanagan, M.D. Professor and Chair of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center.
The program is intended for all professionals involved in brain injury identification, treatment and rehabilitation. It brings together some of the leading experts to discuss issued of brain injury epidemiology; sports concussions; cerebral imaging and traumatic brain injury; the role of neuropsychology in brain injury; management of behavioral problems; support for caregivers and family members and the latest research.
Further information can be obtained at the web site of the Brain Injury Association of New York State.
Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Medicare and Medicaid Information
Introduction to Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income following a Brain Injury--New Webinar
The Brain Injury Alliance of New Jersey will be hosting a webinar intended to be an introduction to issues surrounding social security eligibility for brain injury victims. ersey
Date: Wednesday, January 14, 2015; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
The New Jersey Brain Injury Alliance has described the content of this webinar as appropriate for nurses, parents, caregivers, or anyone who has sustained a brain injury.
According to the brain injury alliance, participants will learn:
* A short description of SSDI v. SSI,
* Preparing to Apply – what documentation is needed, specifically for brain injury,
* Submitting your application,
* And navigating the appeals process
You can obtain further information regarding registration by clicking here.