From the field to the clinic to the lab, sports neurologists Andrea Almeida and Matt Lorincz are ready to sync up all aspects of Michigan NeuroSport in their new co-director roles.
With the help of their NeuroSport team, Almeida, M.D., and Lorincz, M.D., Ph.D., took the reins of the clinic this fall, dedicated to turning it into a one-stop shop for patients at all athletic levels, while they also focus on continuing to develop breakthroughs that will improve clinical care.
The clinic treats everyone from Little Leaguers to professional athletes, and whether you got hurt while playing or you have a neurological condition that affects your sport, Almeida and Lorincz want to help.
Off-the-field conditions that athletes may face include multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, movement disorders, headaches and seizures, all of which could impact performance in sports. The most common on-the-field malady that brings athletes to Michigan NeuroSport is concussion.
“We want to help our patients get back to their sports, no matter what level you’re at,” Lorincz said. “We tailor our treatment and care plan to optimize recovery and performance on the field.”
Michigan NeuroSport brings together multiple experts– from the sports neurologists like Lorincz and Almeida to physiatrists, neuropsychologists, sports medicine specialists and physical therapists, including both spine and vestibular therapists, all working together to provide comprehensive care.
It’s important to treat all aspects of a neurological condition, from the initial visit to a tailored recovery plan. Sometimes your schedule or lifestyle can impact issues like headaches or insomnia, and other issues like depression might need to be addressed along with the neurological condition that brought you to the clinic in the first place. The goal is to get the athletes back to the sport they love.
In the case of a concussion, the initial visit to Michigan NeuroSport should occur as soon as possible. That’s when the physician will involve the team to address any additional problems such as neck or back issues, balance and/or dizziness, as well as cognitive and mood issues. Another visit will usually occur within 1-2 weeks, and then follow-ups could continue after that, if needed.
“We treat all our athletes like the professional players,” Almeida said, “and the convenience of not having to run around to many different clinics is huge for families, and may even speed up recovery.”
Research and education
Almeida, as the country’s first sports neurology fellow, and Lorincz, coming from a research background, are also ramping up research efforts that will lead to better patient care. Educating coaches, athletic trainers, students and their parents on the latest findings is also a priority.
Current projects include:
- Researching and proposing guidelines for treating repeated head injury, such as multiple concussions on the football field. “We’re seeing more people coming in concerned about whether they could have a concussion,” Lorincz said, “and we need to keep researching repeated head injury.”
- Investigating the use of exercise as treatment and management for concussion. “We want to see if we can optimize recovery from concussion with moderate physical activity instead of rest,” Almeida said.
Take the next step:
- Learn about Michigan NeuroSport, part of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Michigan Health System.
- View Michigan NeuroSport’s free online concussion education modules.
Matthew Lorincz, M.D., Ph.D., is co-director of Michigan NeuroSport and associate professor of neurology. He completed his medical and graduate school training at Wayne State University, and his residency at the University of Michigan. Along with treating student athletes at all levels and in all sports, Lorincz is the team physician for the U.S. Ski Team, has provided neurological care at the NBA combine, and with Almeida serves as neurologist for Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan athletes.
Andrea Almeida, M.D., is co-director of Michigan NeuroSport and clinical lecturer in neurology. She completed her medical training at St. Georges University School of Medicine, and her residency at Tulane University before serving as the first sports neurology fellow at U-M. Almeida treats athletes at all levels, from teenagers to Olympic athletes, and serves with Lorincz as neurologist for Eastern Michigan University and the University of Michigan athletes.