Health & Well-Being

Pac-12, NCAA, and UCLA to host conference on sport-related concussion

Preliminary results from largest concussion study ever conducted to be discussed
Conference to gather top doctors, researchers, and athletic trainers 


LOS ANGELES – The Pac-12 Conference, the NCAA, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA will host a conference titled “Sport-Related Concussion: A New Era of Scientific Collaboration” on Friday, Jan. 27 on campus at UCLA. The conference will explore recent developments from the largest concussion study ever conducted: the Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium, an arm of the Grand Alliance between the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense. 

This conference brings together top doctors, researchers, and athletic trainers from across the nation to explore the important issue of sport-related concussion, present new findings, and discuss policies that could help better diagnose and treat concussion. 

“Thanks to collaboration across college sports, amongst our excellent research universities, and beyond, real progress is being made in determining how we can better protect and treat our student-athletes,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said. “Nothing is more important than the well-being of our student-athletes, and we are thrilled to partner with UCLA Chancellor Block and the NCAA Sport Science Institute in convening such an esteemed group of doctors and researchers to discuss this cutting-edge research.”

The nation’s brightest minds in the area of concussion will present new CARE Consortium findings on pre-injury performance based on concussion history; identification of delayed reporting to medical professionals and how it affects return to play; and differences in recovery rates between sport type, in males vs. females, and between those with and without a concussion history.

“The NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance has shifted the concussion paradigm,” NCAA Chief Medical Officer Brian Hainline said. “Emerging science is driving our knowledge, empowering evolving policy, and helping to promote a positive culture of concussion safety.”

Other topics for discussion from the CARE Consortium include the advanced mapping of the clinical history of concussion and how new data is facilitating faster understanding of neurobiological effects and recovery. Presenters throughout the course of the day also will explore topics ranging from the policy and societal implications of the findings, concussion management concepts unique to the military, concussion in female athletes, the evolving role of the athletic trainer in concussion diagnosis and management, and how the NCAA-DoD Mind Matters Challenge is changing the culture of concussion safety.

Joining Scott and Hainline, speakers and presenters for the conference include UCLA Chancellor Block, Dr. Steve Broglio, Dr. Cindy Chang, Dr. Sara Chrisman, Dr. Doug Coatsworth, Dr. Brian Colsant, Dr. Steve Corman, Dr. John DiFiori, Dr. Stefan Duma, Dr. Jam Ghajar, Dr. Chris Giza, Col. Dallas Hack, Maj. Benjamin Ingram, Tim Kelly, Dr. Emily Kroshus, Dr. Tom McAllister, Dr. Mike McCrea, Col. Steven Svoboda, and Dr. Heidi Wayment. 

“We’re honored to join the NCAA and the Pac-12 in this ‘meeting of the minds’ to share initial findings from the CARE Consortium with physicians, trainers, educators, and researchers committed to better understanding the complexities of sports concussions,” Dr. Chris Giza, Director of the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program, said. “Future evidence-based advances in the assessment and care of concussions will be built on this foundation of rigorous prospective data from CARE.”

“This conference is a unique opportunity to engage in a multidisciplinary exchange with the leaders in both research and the clinical care of competitive athletes,” Dr. John P. DiFiori, UCLA Head Team Physician and Chief of the UCLA Division of Sports Medicine, said. “Efforts such as this represent the how premier organizations like the Pac-12 and the NCAA can positively impact the health and safety of athletes.” 

At lunch, NFL and college football rules expert Mike Pereira will be interviewed by Pac-12 Network’s Yogi Roth on the role of football officiating in concussion prevention and important changes to the game of football in the area of student-athlete safety. The day will conclude with a panel focused on creating healthy team cultures that will feature University of Oregon women’s soccer coach Kat Mertz, Team USA men’s water polo coach Adam Krikorian and Capt. Thomas Ryan.

The conference will be held from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. PT on Friday, Jan. 27 at the Luskin Center on campus at UCLA.

Now on Pac-12 Network
1:30 AM PT

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