Over the past few years the issue of head injuries in sport has moved to the forefront and now a group of experts from Calgary is heading to Switzerland for an international conference on concussion.

The 4th annual International Consensus Conference on Concussion in Sport is taking place in Zurich on November 1 and 2.

Key topics include:

  • Sideline assessment of concussion/SCAT2
  • Concussion diagnosis and RTP on the day of injury
  • Difficult case management
  • Management of pediatric (< 15 year old) concussion
  • Long term problems and CTE
  • Knowledge transfer and education

A dream team of researchers from the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute, the Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute and the faculties of Kinesiology and Medicine are taking part in the conference.

Dr. Willem Meeuwisse, the leader of the of the brain injury initiative at the HBI here in Calgary will be co-chairing the international conference.

“We're looking at some new forms of therapy, we're looking at how different treatment may be, or management should be, in the pediatric age group compared to adults because the kid’s brain is different than an adult’s brain,” said Dr. Meeuwisse.

Dr. Meeuwisse, Dr. Brian Benson and grad student Kathryn Schneider are part of an expert panel of 25, that will be discussing and debating the issues and research surrounding concussion.

Dr Carolyn Emery, from the ACH and faculty of Kinesiology will also be in Zurich to present work on body checking policy, risk and assessment.

Dr. Chantel Debert will talk about new findings in cognitive function in concussed athletes and Dr. Sean Dukelow will lead a discussion on robotics for concussion assessment.

“We have people with world class expertise in different areas and a very strong inter-disciplinary group, as well as a great track record in this area," said Dr. Meeuwisse.

Dr. Meeuwisse says that a lot of the new research comes out of Calgary and the purpose of the conference is to bring together experts from around the world to share research, new ideas and opinions.

“The current guidelines, which are from 2008, say that if you have a concussion the treatment is rest and you rest your brain so you don’t do too much thinking and video games and so on and you rest your body so you don’t exercise and what we’re recognizing is that works for about 70 percent of people that are better in a week to ten days from a sports concussion. The problem is, for the 30 percent of people who are not better right away, what do you do with them? Is it more rest or is there something that you can actually intervene and do,” said Dr. Meeuwisse.

The conference is described as the foremost information gathering conference on sport concussion in the world.

For more information on the conference, visit the Concussion in Sport website.