Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Prevention

How concussions are impacting our children-from the playing field to the classroom

The Minnesota Department of Health released a report on how concussions are impacting high-school athletes.

The report is based on data the Minnesota Department of Health collected from 36 Twin Cities-area schools during the last academic year. It estimates 3,000 high school athletes were concussed statewide last year.

That's 22 athletes suffering a concussion for every high school in Minnesota last year.

According to published reports, “Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger says the research should be a signal to coaches and parents that concussions need to be taken seriously.”

"And we need a commitment from everyone on the team to make sure our athletes can compete safely, and when concussion does occur, we need to make sure the student athletes have the support of parents, teachers, coaches, and school nurses and clinicians in the community," he says.

According to the report, hockey and football players have the highest concussion rates

The study results are published in the September issue of Minnesota Medicine.

September 7, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury & Concussions, Brain Injury Latest Medical News, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention

FDA Warning: No dietary supplements approved to treat concussions or other brain injury.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a warning that there are no approved dietary supplements to treat a concussions or other types of brain injury.

Can a Dietary Supplement Treat a Concussion? No! 

The concussion supplement warning published by the FDA is published in full below:

Exploiting the public's rising concern about concussions, some companies are offering untested, unproven and possibly dangerous products that claim to prevent, treat or cure concussions and other traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is monitoring the marketplace and taking enforcement actions where appropriate, issuing warning letters to firms—the usual first step for dealing with claims that products labeled as dietary supplements are intended for use in the cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease. The agency is also warning consumers to avoid purported dietary supplements marketed with claims to prevent, treat, or cure concussions and other TBIs because the claims are not backed with scientific evidence that the products are safe or effective for such purposes. These products are sold on the Internet and at various retail outlets, and marketed to consumers using social media, including Facebook and Twitter.

One common but misleading claim: Using a particular dietary supplement promotes faster healing after a concussion or other TBI.

Even if a particular supplement contains no harmful ingredients, that claim alone can be dangerous, says Gary Coody, FDA's National Health Fraud Coordinator.

"We're very concerned that false assurances of faster recovery will convince athletes of all ages, coaches and even parents that someone suffering from a concussion is ready to resume activities before they are really ready," says Coody. "Also, watch for claims that these products can prevent or lessen the severity of concussions or TBIs."

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head, or by a violent shaking of the head and upper body. Concussions and other TBIs are serious medical conditions that require proper diagnosis, treatment, and monitoring by a health care professional. The long-term impact of concussions on professional athletes and children who play contact sports has recently been the subject of highly publicized discussions.

A growing body of scientific evidence indicates that if concussion victims resume strenuous activities—such as football, soccer or hockey—too soon, they risk a greater chance of having a subsequent concussion. Moreover, repeat concussions can have a cumulative effect on the brain, with devastating consequences that can include brain swelling, permanent brain damage, long-term disability and death.

“There is simply no scientific evidence to support the use of any dietary supplement for the prevention of concussions or the reduction of post-concussion symptoms that would allow athletes to return to play sooner,” said Charlotte Christin, acting director of FDA’s Division of Dietary Supplement Programs.

Click here for more information.

September 1, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention

Class Action Lawsuit Commenced by Parents for Soccer Concussions

A class action lawsuit was filed yesterday in US Federal District Court against the Federal of International Football Association (FIFA) and US Soccer leagues by parents seeking changes to the associations concussion management rules to prevent brain injuries from occurring.

The plaintiffs are not seeking financial compensation but changes to how the game is played.  They are seeing an injunction compelling the leagues to changes their rules regarding heading a soccer ball, when to remove a player from the game after a suspected concussion takes place, how long to keep the player out and educational requirements.  The lawsuit wants the league to any player under 14 from heading the ball.

I was interviewed for a story published in the New York Times, Concussion Lawsuit Bids to Force Rule Changes in Soccer regarding this lawsuit.   While I agree with the purported motivation for commencing this action, I have serious doubts whether the court can grant the plaintiffs the relief they demand.

 

The complaint is an excellent primer on the history of sports concussions, what was known and when it was known, the need for sports concussion management and the dangers faced by children who sustain a concussion while engaged in a sporting activity.  I am attaching the full complaint:  Download Soccer complaint

 

A concussion is a brain injury.  The best cure for a brain injury is prevention.  When in doubt, keep them out!

August 28, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Prevention, Brain Injury Publications

Centers for Disease Control Concussion App

CDC's Heads Up app helps parents and others learn how to spot the signs and symptoms of a concussion and explains what to do if they think their child or teen has a concussion or other serious brain injury. The app also includes information on selecting the right helmet for an activity and other detailed helmet safety information.

Download the CDC Heads Up Concussion App by clicking here

June 9, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Sports Concussion Summit-Listen this Sunday when I share my thoughts with Bob Salter on WFAN

Last Thursday, I joined President Obama at the White House for his Summit on Youth Sports Concussions. I will be discussing my thoughts about the new sports concussion initiatives and the need for comprehensive federal legislation this Sunday morning at 7 AM with Bob Salter on WFAN Radio 66 AM, 101.9 FM  You can listen to a live stream of my interview on Sunday by clicking here.

June 6, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Current Affairs

The White House Concussion Summit-No Quick Fixes Please

I had the honor and privilege to be a participant in yesterday’s White House Sports Concussion Summit.

President Obama’s inaugural concussion summit presented a watershed moment in validating and tackling the public health crisis of the long term hazards posed by concussions in sports and its ramifications. The President’s opening remarks were very encouraging and he deserves credit for bringing everyone together around this issue. Unfortunately, the momentum was lost when the panelists shifted the focus to protection of sporting activities from the negative publicity associated with brain injury rather than protection of players.

The White House Summit on sports was an opportunity to embrace a uniform national protocol comprehensively tackling the multi-dimensional issues related to sports concussion management.  It is critical to avoid preventable brain injuries and manage the brain injuries that unfortunately but inevitably occur.  Though many coaches and parents fear the over-protective label, they have justification for their safety concerns.

Contrary to the perspective of the panel, brain injury is not a simple event with a simple solution.  One only need listen to the many young adults who suffer permanent disability in the pursuit of athletic participation. No one is suggesting a ban on athletic activities. Yes, concussions happen. It is part of the game, but we must implement initiatives to reduce the risk of injury, and prevent, preventable injuries. 

This national summit on the public health crisis of sports related brain injury missed an important opportunity to set forth a meaningful agenda and address the needs of the millions of individuals who have sustained a brain injury both on and off the playing field. 

Increased government funding is crucial for continued meaningful and targeted research on prevention, diagnosis and treatment and much more will be necessary in our efforts to comprehend the complexities of traumatic brain injury.

Traumatic brain injury affects 5.2 million Americans.  Government initiatives must extend beyond the athletic fields and focus on all aspects of this silent but burgeoning epidemic. A brain injury is not a passing illness.  The lifelong cognitive, emotional, and behavioral consequences of this condition affect every aspect of the victim’s life.  A brain injury can affect anyone, anytime, anywhere, and unfortunately, it does.  A national proposal attempting to prevent, reduce, and treat brain injury must be comprehensive in scope. 

There are those who might have another agenda, not entirely focused on public health.  Multi-billion dollar enterprises, such as the NFL, have been jeopardized, and its image tarnished by mushrooming liabilities and the trickledown effect on college and youth sports.  The league might have other motivation in joining this project.  The NFL employs marketing masterminds to control the public’s perception of concussion risks. The league’s “Heads Up Football” tackle program attempts to convince parents that football can be made safe.  Football is a concussion delivery system.  While it is beneficial to improve and require “safe” tackling  procedures, there is no empirical evidence supporting the position that changing the tackle rules will either reduce the rate or  decrease the severity of concussions. 

Pixie dust solutions only work in fairy tales.  The dangers of concussions remain constant.  A concussion is a brain injury: a significant event with potentially life-altering consequences.   

Doubtless NFL monetary contributions to fund brain injury research are beneficial.  These funds must not be allowed to subtly influence the outcome of that research.  When the fox supervises the chicken coop, the outcome becomes predictable.  The NFL’s proposed settlement of the pending mass injury lawsuit is a perfect example of the league’s duplicity.  No settlement funds have been committed to players who continue to suffer the long-term consequences of the post-concussive syndrome.  Despite overwhelming medical evidence, the league steadfastly refuses to acknowledge that a concussion can cause life-long consequences.  Those who control the flow of funds, and research, must be vigilant to be impervious to outside influences and any invisible strings that might be attached to the money. 

May 30, 2014 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Brain Injury and Sports, Brain Injury Association Information, Brain Injury Events, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Legislative News, Brain Injury Prevention, Current Affairs

White House Sports Concussion Summit

The White House has announced that President Obama will hold a summit on youth sports and concussions on May 29th at the White House entitled, The White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit. The purpose of this meeting is to bring together young athletes, academics, parents and others to raise awareness of traumatic brain injuries in our nation’s youth as a result of sports.

According to a press statement,  the administration will announce new commitments by the public and private sectors to raise awareness among athletes, parents, coaches, schools and others on how to identify and treat concussions and to conduct research to help understand how sports-related concussions affect young athletes.

 

May 20, 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, Brain Injury Lawyers and Law, Brain Injury Prevention

Youth football is not as safe as NFL wants you to believe

Today's edition of USA Today has an important story on youth football and the spin that the NFL wants to place on safety.  You can read my comments quoted in the story and the story by clicking here.

August 28, 2013 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack