November 7, 2011
BOSTON, MA- Spaulding Rehabilitation Network (SRN) and the Harvard Medical School Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation hosted its annual Ralph and Irene Epstein Rosenthal Memorial Lecture for 150 healthcare professionals and educators on the topic of “From Battlefields to Ballfields: The Impact of Post Concussion Syndrome. Dr. Ross Zafonte, VP of Research Education and Medical Affairs, SRN, Dr. Andrew Judelson, Physiatrist, Spaulding Cape Cod, Beth Adams, Med, LRC, Neurotrauma Rehabilitation Specialist and Spaulding Hospital North Shore Case Manager and Boston Bruins Head Trainer Don DelNegro all participated in the lecture with Emily Riemer, co-anchor of WCVB’s weekend EyeOpener serving as emcee.
“The brain is incredibly complex and the disease models of concussion are just as complex. Often brain injuries are referred to by clinicians as the most complex disease in the most complex organ. New information is being published all the time and from our heroes in combat to professional and amateur athletes awareness is of utmost importance,” said Dr. Zafonte.
With new statistics pointing to almost 4 million concussions in youth sports per year and 1 in 10 soldiers suffering blast related concussions at its peak in Iraq and Afghanistan, the issue is only growing in importance. The overriding message for all involved was testing is key and its vital to note that each person is unique.
DelNegro stressed that the awareness among professional athletes, particularly after the lockout in the NHL has grown. He noted that the tools such as baseline testing and return to play guidelines are certainly helpful however they must be paired with the training and medical team to support them. The entire panel acknowledged the increased awareness of professional athletes and role modeling better return to play models helps at all levels of sports.
DelNegro also wanted to stress for parents and coaches to check their player’s helmets. “While in many ways the designs of helmets have improved, they are not designed to last forever. Parents, players and coaches should check the certification date, check the helmet for ay damage and replace them regularly to maximize their effectiveness,” said DelNegro.
Spaulding Rehabilitation Network is one of the leaders in concussion and brain injury care in the region with its twenty three outpatient centers and 6 inpatient facilities providing specialty concussion and brain injury care. Spaulding is also a center of research on concussion and brain injury with over a dozen ongoing studies on the topic. Spaulding is a teaching hospital of HarvardMedical School as well as the official rehabilitation hospital of the New England Patriots and Revolution.
About the Spaulding Rehabilitation Network
A member of Partners HealthCare, The Spaulding Rehabilitation Network includes Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital-Boston (main campus), a 196-bed facility, as well as Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital Cape Cod. Additional locations include the two long-term care facilities Spaulding Hospital Cambridge and Spaulding HospitalNorth Shore and two skilled nursing facilities, as well as twenty-three outpatient sites throughout the Greater Boston area. Spaulding is a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School as well as the official rehabilitation hospital of the New England Patriots. Spaulding is the only rehabilitation hospital in New England continually ranked since 1995 by U.S. News and World Report in its Best Hospitals survey with a #5 ranking in 2011. For more information, please visit www.spauldingnetwork.org.