The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury in Athletes

Topic: The Effects of Traumatic Brain Injury in Athletes
Date of Event: December 10, 2012
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET, 7:00 p.m. CT, 6:00 p.m. MT, 5:00 p.m. PT

Course Description: With research mounting on the long-term dangers of concussions, a majority of states have adopted or are considering legislation to place concussion management laws on the books.  As of May 2012, 38 states, plus the District of Columbia and the city of Chicago have adopted youth concussion laws.  These laws have developed out of the growing awareness of subconcussive trauma to the brain causing marked decreases in cognitive function.  Research indicates a clear link between brain injuries and various debilitating neurologic disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Throughout their careers, physicians will treat patients with concussions and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The growing awareness of subconcussive trauma to the brain causing marked decreases in cognitive function related to CTE necessitates further education and awareness for all clinicians and patients.

The presentation panel Includes, Dr. Patrick Leary, Director of Sports Medicine at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine, Erie, PA, Dr. Jennifer Hammers, Brain Injury Research Institute, and Attorney Robert P. Fitzsimmons, Senior Partner, Fitzsimmons Law Firm.

Dr. Patrick Leary will share his expertise as a sports medicine physician who has acted as an NCAA Tournament Physician, team physician for the University of Notre Dame and Erie BayHawks Head Team Physican. Dr. Leary will discuss concussion diagnosis and management, specifically exploring the pathophysiology, symptoms, diagnosis, imaging and management and return to play issues.

Dr. Jennifer Hammers from the Brain Injury Research Institute will present on the discovery of CTE, the pathophysiology, its effects short-term and long-term on cognitive function, and future research.  Specifically, Dr. Hammers will:

  1. Explore the definition of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) and the relationship of CTE to Dementia Pugilistica (DP) and other neurodegenerative diseases.
  2. Examine the underlying cause of CTE and the types of activities that may lead to the development of the pathologic changes identified in CTE.
  3. Explain the histochemical and immunohistochemical analysis utilized to diagnose CTE.

Attorney Robert P. Fitzsimmons, Senior Partner, Fitzsimmons Law Firm and founding member and Co-Director of the Brain Injury Research Institute at NorthShore University Hospitals, Chicago, IL, will:

  1. Discuss the concussion legislation adopted by many states.
  2. Outline the liability that may attach when a physician is treating a suspected concussion.
  3. Discuss determining how the standard of care will be defined.
  4. Explore how concussion laws affect a physician’s practice.