Brain Trauma Symposium Draws Experts on Risks of Sports Concussions

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The Memphis community can learn about the hidden risks of sports concussions during a Brain Trauma Symposium presented by the Neuroscience Institute of UTHSC on Thursday, April 28. The symposium is free, open to the public.

The Brain Injury Resource Center reports that an estimated 300,000 sports-related traumatic brain injuries or TBIs occur in the United States every year. Most of these TBIs can be classified as concussions, which are conditions of temporary altered mental status. But how serious is a concussion? Do you as a parent, coach or athlete know how to recognize a concussion’s symptoms and severity? And would you know how to respond or when to call a health care professional? Repeated mild brain injuries occurring over an extended period (i.e., months or years) can result in cumulative neurologic and cognitive deficits, but repeated mild brain injuries occurring within a short period (i.e., hours, days or weeks) can be catastrophic or fatal.

The Memphis community can learn about the hidden risks of sports concussions during a Brain Trauma Symposium presented by the Neuroscience Institute of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC). Scheduled for Thursday, April 28, the symposium is free, open to the public and suitable for parents, coaches, trainers and athletes, as well as for medical and health professionals. This program is approved for .2 Continuing Education Units by the University of Tennessee.

The two-hour event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be held at the University of Memphis Center, Third Floor Ballroom. Moderators for the symposium are William E. Armstrong, PhD, who directs the Neuroscience Institute, and is a Center of Excellence Professor in the Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UTHSC, and Anton J. Reiner, PhD, professor of Anatomy and Neurobiology at UTHSC. Admission and parking are free (validated parking), but advance registration for the event is required. To register, visit http://www.uthsc.edu/neuroscience/symposium.php, or contact the UTHSC Neuroscience Institute for more information: e-mail — bmfleming@uthsc.edu (Brandy Fleming), or phone (901) 448-5960.

Two experts in the field of sports concussions will lead the symposium:

Christopher Nowinski, former Harvard football player and WWE wrestler, co-founded the Sports Legacy Institute to “advance the study, treatment, and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in athletes and other at-risk groups.” He speaks to schools, sports programs, health centers and at medical conferences, across the country, and continues to raise awareness of the dangers of concussions. Nowinski is author of “Head Games: Football’s Concussion Crisis.”

Dr. Robert Stern, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Neurology, Co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy and Co-director of the Alzheimer’s Disease Clinical & Research Program at Boston University School of Medicine. He is also on the Medical Advisory Board for the Sports Legacy Institute.

Christopher Nowinski (left) and Dr. Robert Stern will address such TBI subjects as:

What a concussion is
How to recognize a concussion
How to get your athletes to admitsuffering a concussion
Proper response
Appropriate concussion return-to-play guidelines
Coordination of concussion care
Concussion prevention strategies
The latest research on the long-term consequences of concussions and brain trauma, including Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)
CTE prevention strategies