UTHealth NRC to sponsor forum on sports-related concussions

Super Bowl-winning lineman turned orthopaedic surgeon Mark Adickes, M.D., is moderating a free public forum to help parents, athletes and trainers spot the warning signs of concussion.

With sports-related concussions on the rise, it is more important than ever for people involved in sports to be aware of the latest advances in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of concussions, said Adickes, who played on a Super Bowl-winning Washington Redskins team.

The Neuroscience Research Center (NRC) at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) is sponsoring the forum from 10:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Feb. 23, in the Cooley University Life Center in the UTHealth School of Dentistry, 7440 Cambridge. There is free parking on East Road across from the UTHealth School of Dentistry.

Concussions, a type of traumatic brain injury, are caused by jolts to the head that can affect how the brain works. There are estimated to be more than 1 million sports-related concussions a year.

Adickes, assistant professor at UTHealth and co-medical director of the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute, said advanced care is available for children injured in sports such as football, hockey and soccer.

But, that was not always the case, said Adickes, who suffered a serious concussion while playing high school football. "I was unconscious for a couple of minutes," recalled Adickes, whose family lived in Germany at the time. "I woke up and they put me back in the game."

That would not happen today, Adickes said. Now when a football player takes a big hit or loses consciousness, the player's helmet is taken and he cannot play again in the game.

Adickes will moderate a discussion by a panel comprised of a neuropsychologist, a neurosurgeon, an emergency medicine physician and a traumatic brain injury researcher.

In addition to learning about the warning signs of concussion, those in attendance will hear about the tests caregivers use to determine when a player is ready to go back to his or her sport.

The members of the panel include:

Pramod Dash, Ph.D., Nina and Michael Zilkha Distinguished Chair in Neurodegenerative Disease Research at the UT Health Medical School and scientific director of Mission Connect. Mission Connect is a collaborative neurotrauma research project focused on halting the progression of damage and restoring lost function in patients who have sustained a spinal cord injury, brain injury or stroke.

James McCarthy, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at the UTHealth Medical School and medical director of emergency medicine at the Texas Trauma Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

Summer Ott, Psy.D., neuropsychologist in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the UTHealth Medical School and director of the Sports Concussion Program at the Memorial Hermann Ironman Sports Medicine Institute.

Nitin Tandon, M.D., associate professor with The Vivian L. Smith Department of Neurosurgery at the UTHealth Medical School and director of the Epilepsy Surgery Program at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.

The Neuroscience Research Center hosts its annual Public Forum in conjunction with international Brain Awareness Week. Each year, the public forum covers a different aspect of neuroscience research. A reception following the public forum event allows participants the opportunity to interact with the guest speakers. Additional information on Brain Awareness events can be accessed on the Facebook page of the UTHealth Neuroscience Research Center (https://www.facebook.com/#!/UTHealthNRC).



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News-Medical.Net.
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