Jun 3, 2016
Head’s Up

This year’s NATA Convention has plenty of presentations to keep you updated on the latest concussion research. With relevant seminars each day, you’ll be able to learn about managing concussion, measuring head impacts, the long-term effects of concussion, and more.

Get a running start at the conference with “The Modern Concussion Management Paradigm: Today’s Complexities and Tomorrow’s Solutions,” on Wednesday, June 22. Led by Jason Mihalik, PhD, ATC, CAT(C), Assistant Professor of Exercise and Sport Science at the University of North Carolina, this advanced track seminar will cover current evidence behind the recommended concussion management paradigm. It will also discuss evidence that supports aspects of concussion management, such as visual-vestibular assessments, rehabilitations, and pharmacotherapeutics.

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If you’re interested in technology and concussions, you’ll want to check out “The ‘Impact’ of Head Impacts in Sport,” from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 23. This mini-course, led by Steven Broglio, PhD, ATC, Associate Professor in Athletic Training and Director of the NeuroTrauma Research Laboratory at the University of Michigan, will discuss the strengths and limitations of head impact sensing technology. In addition, attendees will learn up-to-date information on the frequency and magnitude of head impacts, with a focus on American football.

Keep your Thursday going by attending “Evidence for the Long-Term Effects of Sports-Related Concussion,” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. In this presentation, participants will be educated about the effect of concussion over time by Michelle Cleary, PhD, ATC, Associate Professor in the Crean College of Health and Behavioral Science and the Athletic Training Educational Program at Chapman University. Dr. Cleary will present an instructive case report showing the long-term effects of repeated sports-related concussion, including both neurocognitive and behavioral outcomes.

Friday, June 24, will boast a featured three-part panel presentation titled, “Concussion: A Public Health Issue,” from 9:15 to 11:15 a.m. First, Tamara Valovich McLeod, PhD, ATC, FNATA, John P. Wood, D.O., Endowed Chair for Sports Medicine, Professor and Director of the Athletic Training Program at A.T. Still University, will present “Using a Public Health Framework to Foster Concussion Awareness and Prevention.” This section will use the public health context to discuss preventative measures to reduce concussion risk and increase reporting of concussive events. In the second presentation, Javier Cardenas, MD, Neurologist at the Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix will discuss “Concussion Education: Is It Promoting Change?” Attendees will consider learning mechanisms related to concussion knowledge, platforms for increasing awareness, and the effectiveness of legislation. Next, Cailee Welch, PhD, ATC, Assistant Professor of Athletic Training at A.T. Still University, will round out the panel with “Tackling Concussion and Academic Accommodations through an Interprofessional Collaborative Approach: Tips and Strategies to Improve Management and Care.” Dr. Welch’s presentation will introduce ways of managing concussions with a team of health care providers, including athletic trainers, physician assistants, school nurses, physicians, and counselors.

As the conference comes to a close, you’ll still be able to fit in one more concussion-related presentation on Saturday, June 25, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Focusing on head injuries sustained in lacrosse, Thomas Bowman, PhD, ATC, Associate Professor of Athletic Training at Lynchburg College, will discuss “Connecting Helmet Performance with Head Impact Characteristics.” As a result of attending, participants will be able to develop preventive strategies to decrease head impacts and risky behavior during lacrosse activity, differentiate between football and lacrosse helmet designs and performance, and interpret lacrosse head impact biomechanical characteristics and their relationship with neurocognitive function. 

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