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Concussion summit announced

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

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Media Contact: Traci Peterson, Office:817-272-9208, Cell:817-521-5494, tpeterso@uta.edu

The University of Texas at Arlington, along with corporate partners Concussion Vital Signs, NeuroCom and Balanced Athlete, will bring together brain injury and concussion experts from across the U.S. March 9-10 for the first University of Texas at Arlington Concussion Summit.

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Keynote speaker for the summit will be former Dallas Cowboys fullback and current FOX Sports analyst Daryl Johnston. The event will feature the latest research on the biomechanics of concussions, testing methods, keys to making safe return-to-play decisions and the long-term effects of sports-related brain injuries. Organizers are inviting local physicians, athletic trainers, coaches, school administrators as well as parents and other health professionals to attend.

Visit http://www.uta.edu/coehp/kinesiology/csummit/summit2012.php for more information.

Concussion Vital Signs logo

“This is a unique opportunity for experts from across the nation to gather in one venue to discuss this timely and important topic,” said Jacob Resch, an assistant professor of kinesiology in the College of Education and Health Professions. “The invited speakers will address every aspect of concussion research and outline efforts to make athletic competition as safe as possible.”

Balanced Athlete logo

In 2011, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the number of sports or recreation-related visits to emergency rooms for concussions or other traumatic brain injuries increased from 153,375 annually to 248,418 annually from 2001 to 2009, a 62 percent jump.

Resch, the director of the Brain Injury Laboratory at UT Arlington, is the principal investigator on a long-term study of high school athletes, monitoring them before and after concussions. More than 2,000 North Texas students are now taking part in this study, which is a collaborative effort with Texas Health Resources and UT Southwestern.

The conference program will include hands-on workshops as well as distinguished speakers. A few of the scheduled speakers include:

Dr. Christopher C. Giza, associate professor of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery in the UCLA Health System. Giza studies the pathobiology of traumatic brain injuries, including examining altered development and vulnerability to secondary concussions. Giza co-authored a landmark paper addressing the pathophysiology of concussion.

Steven Broglio, assistant professor of kinesiology at the University of Michigan. Broglio studies the biomechanical aspects of sport-related concussion. He recently published data capturing a cervical spine fracture in a high school athlete using biomechanical software. He also has completed several studies on the impact of concussion on young athletes, including examinations of the reliability of neuropsychological testing used by many school districts and universities.

Michael S. Ferrara, professor and associate dean of research at the University of Georgia. Ferrara has been active in concussion research, investigating recovery patterns and return-to-play decisions.  Ferrara was a co-author of the 2004 National Athletic Trainers’ Association position statement on sport-related concussion.

C. Munro Cullum, professor of psychiatry and neurology and neurotherapeutics and Director of Neuropsychology at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas. His research includes investigations into cognitive dysfunction in a variety of conditions, including aging and dementia and sports concussion in retired NFL athletes. Cullum is a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist. He is the incoming president of the Neuropsychology Division of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. John Hart, medical science director at the Center for BrainHealth in Dallas. He also holds chairs and appointments at The University of Texas at Dallas and UT Southwestern and is the president of the Society for Behavioral and Cognitive Neurology and the Behavioral Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology. Hart is examining the long-term effects of repeated concussions sustained by NFL athletes.

Dr. Damond Blueitt, primary care and sports medicine physician at Orthopedic Specialty Associates and Texas Health Ben Hogan Sports Medicine, both in Fort Worth. Blueitt is part of the team taking part in the UT Arlington study of student athletes in North Texas.

Concussion Vital Signs is a division of CNS Vital Signs, which specializes in the design and development of neurocognitive and behavioral assessment tools and technologies. Neurocom, a division of Natus®, develops computerized tools for the assessment and rehabilitation of balance and mobility disorders. Balanced Athlete is a provider of neurocognitive testing and concussion assessments and education based in Lewisville.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,439 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more. 

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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