‘A small timetable to get healthy’

Off-the-track concussion brings Olympic hopeful athlete to Michigan NeuroSport

Neuro_Medsport_061_BLOGShe’s no stranger to sports injuries, but hurdler and Olympic hopeful Candice Price had no idea what to do next when she was hurt in a bad car crash this fall. Price found herself with a concussion, and then debilitating headaches and some trouble keeping her balance.

“This has been one of the most challenging injuries,” Price says, “and there’s nothing visual I can point out to people, it’s just an injury to my brain.”

Price, an Ann Arbor-area native, visited sports neurologist Andrea Almeida, M.D., at the Michigan NeuroSport clinic right away to figure out how to improve her symptoms and get back to preparing for Rio de Janeiro this summer for the 2016 Olympics.

Continue reading

Paige Decker roots for Michigan NeuroSport

“They gave me hope again”

Decker_Colwell_003

Paige Decker talks with Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation physician Miles Colwell, Jr., M.D.

When Yale senior hockey player Paige Decker took a hit on the ice in November 2013, she had no idea that she was about to embark on a journey that would take her to more than 40 health care professionals in both the U.S. and Canada.

“I had never had a concussion before,” says Decker. “I ended up playing during the next two days with symptoms, which wasn’t the best decision.”

But if Decker ever questioned herself, she shouldn’t. Many people “play through the pain,” even if the pain is concussion. Besides, she loved playing hockey in this Division 1 Team.  Continue reading

Concussion and gender: A difference?

Female_Athlete

New University of Michigan research shows that concussion does not hurt women athletes more than men.

Does concussion affect women differently from men? A new study from the University of Michigan sheds some light on the subject.

We talked with lead author Kathryn O’Connor, a Ph.D. student at University of Michigan’s NeuroSport Research Laboratory, to learn more about the study and her thoughts on gender differences in concussion. O’Connor recently presented the study results at the American Academy of Neurology’s Sports Concussion Conference.

Tell us briefly about your study.

Our work is part of the National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study (NSCOS) funded by the NCAA.

The research involved 148 Division I college athletes from 11 sports at the University of Michigan during a single season. Of the participants, 51 percent played a contact sport, 24 percent had experienced a concussion and 45 percent were female.

All participants had taken learning and processing tests along with other measures of the brain’s abilities, such as attention and working memory speed.  Continue reading

Concussion Clarity: A conversation with Dr. Jeff Kutcher

From headers in soccer to football tackles to hockey hits, today’s student athletes and their parents have many reasons to monitor brain health. Jeff Kutcher, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Michigan and the Director of Michigan NeuroSport, took audience questions in a live webcast on Thursday, August 13th. Watch the full Google Hangout below, or scroll down to read Dr. Kutcher’s take on a few important questions about concussions.

Continue reading

5 biggest concussion myths

concussion1Every year, more than one million Americans suffer a concussion from sports activities, car accidents and falls.

However, there are many myths about concussion. Here are the top five.

Myth: Helmets can prevent concussion in sports

Yes, helmets protect against concussion and head injury, but this doesn’t mean that if you use a helmet you’re definitely safe. If your body or head is hit with enough force, your brain can be jarred enough to cause a concussion.  Continue reading

Concussions not a death sentence for athletes

UM expert to present insight at SXSW festival

Every March, the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin, Texas becomes the epicenter of hip. At first glance, a neurology presentation doesn’t fit alongside the bands, innovative documentaries, and showcases of transformational technologies. Actually, at second glance it doesn’t either!Dejected

This is exactly why I’m partnering with Super Bowl champion and brain trauma patient advocate Ben Utecht to bring some sports neurology to SXSW. Ben is an accomplished musician and entertainer as well, so I’m hoping he can bring the hip.

Ben and I will be joined by New York Times sports contributor and Michigan State University sports journalism professor, Joanne Gerstner. Together, we hope to use the incredible social reach of SXSW to bring a well-measured, yet passionate, conversation about sports concussion to the masses. Our panel discussion “Does Playing Sports Equal Brain Damage” will be Friday, March 13, at 5 p.m. CT.

Continue reading