13h30 – 14h45, Thursday 12th July 2018, ESOF 2018 Toulouse.
Although the association between brain injury in sport, in particular boxing, and risk of dementia has been recognised for almost a century this issue only came to prominence in the last decade with the recognition of a specific neurodegenerative disease, known as CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy brain degeneration), in former American footballers; a subject dramatized in the film “Concussion” featuring Will Smith as Forensic Neuropathologist Dr Bennet Omalu.
A result of growing awareness that late neurodegenerative complications of brain injury are not unique to boxers has focused attention on management of sports concussion across all sports, including rugby and football. Consequently, international sports federations take these issues very seriously, with World Rugby, the governing body of rugby union, widely regarded as leading the way on sports concussion management from grass roots to the professional game.
This session will highlight state of the art research spanning pre-clinical models to pitch side care, which is designed to better understand the consequences of concussion and improve recognition and management of sports-related head injuries.
Introduction from chair(s)
Presentation Title: The player perspective (impact on health, quality of life, family, career)
Rugby Safety Network.
Presentation Title: What do we know and what are the big questions
Dr William Stewart
Consultant and Lead Neuropathologist, Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow.
Dr William Stewart is Consultant and Lead Neuropathologist at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow and holds Honorary Associate Professor status at the University of Glasgow and the University of Pennsylvania. He qualified MBChB from the University of Glasgow, where he also gained a PhD in Neuroscience before completing postgraduate FRCPath training in Neuropathology.
Dr Stewart leads an internationally regarded research laboratory engaged in multiple programs investigating the pathologies of acute and long-term survival from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Working with the unique and comprehensive Glasgow TBI Archive, Dr Stewart’s research describes the complex neuropathology of brain injury across a range of exposures and survivals, with particular reference to the link between TBI and neurodegenerative disease. Dr Stewart also directs the FIELD study, which aims to describe lifelong health and dementia risk in former soccer and rugby players.
Dr Stewart is a participant on the EC funded CENTER-TBI and ICON-TBI research programmes and, reflecting his research activity and expertise, he acts as expert advisor to multiple national and international sports organisations and governments; work which contributed to the unique Scottish Concussion Guidance for all amateur sports.
PhD candidate in Clinical Medicine, Imperial College.
Karl Zimmerman is a PhD candidate in Clinical Medicine at Imperial College London. He holds an MRes in Experimental Neuroscience and BSc in Biochemistry also from Imperial College London. His research focuses on the quantification and prediction of axonal injury after traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Karl has been a member of the Computational, Cognitive & Clinical Neuroimaging Laboratory at Imperial College since mid 2015. He is currently the lead co-ordinator for sites in the UK for the BIO-AX-TBI arm of the CREACTIVE study, a European wide initiative in TBI research. He is also a core researcher in a University College London led study investigating biomarker changes after mild TBIs in rugby players.
Working closely with the Dyson School of Engineering at Imperial College, Karl’s research attempts to draw on a broad range of expertise including imaging, engineering and blood-based biomarker assays to investigate what occurs during a mild TBI. Outside of research, he is also an avid ice-hockey player and coach in the Women’s Elite League.
Presentation Title: How do we deal with this on the field
Q&A and Discussions: Understanding and mitigating risks