SfN Discussion Centers on Youth Football

On an early Sunday afternoon a few blocks away from the Society for Neuroscience Conference at the San Diego Convention Center, sports bars packed with football fans watched their heroes bang heads playing the most popular sport in America. Inside the center, four neuroscientists who specialize in head trauma and a former NFL player talked about the complex issues of concussion and multiple impacts to the brain in football, others sports, military service, and in random accidents.

“Here is an October 9 New York Times article about Jordan Reed, a tight end for the Washington Redskins, who sustained his sixth concussion and pondered whether if and when he should return to the field,” Harry Levin, a professor of neuroscience at Baylor University, enlarged on a screen. “Six is too many, and he ended up missing only two games.”

“Did he have come back too soon?” asked Levin. The answer, to the frustration of athletes, their families, and neuroscientists head trauma researchers is: We really don’t know.

While the roundtable discussion, “Concussion: From the Players’ Experience to the Future of Research,” offered compelling data on the scope of concussion and mild head trauma by gender, age, and circumstance, the speakers emphasized that in light of heightened awareness and the challenges facing researchers about quantifying the dangers, making public policy decisions is purely speculative and premature. [See full video of the discussion, below.]

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Free Webcast on Youth Addiction Tonight

Tune in tonight to the free webcast, “Raising Drug-Free Kids: How Can the Science of Addiction Help Us?” to hear Dana Alliance member and Director of theVolkow, Nora National Institute on Drug Abuse Nora Volkow, M.D., discuss how drug addiction impacts our youth and the importance of prevention.

This webcast is part of the Child Mind Institute’s Speak Up for Kids series, and will run from 8-9pm EST. Register here.

For more information on youth addiction, visit NIDA for Teens.

– Ann L. Whitman

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