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Is Football Bad for the Brain? Experts Address the Concussion Debate

It’s what former Pittsburgh Steeler Jerome Bettis has publicly referred to as “the NFL’s dirty little secret.” Concussions and their long-term effects—such as memory loss and mental illness—among professional football players has long been a major concern in the medical community. Results from a recent National Football League (NFL) commissioned study indicates Alzheimer’s disease and other memory-related conditions have been diagnosed among former NFL players at a much higher rate than in the national population.Experts will discuss and explore the various aspects of this thought-provoking issue at Is Football Bad for the Brain? Forensic Scientific, Medical-Legal and Societal Aspects of the Concussion Debate from 8:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Friday, March 12, and from 8:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 13, at Duquesne University’s Power Center Ballroom.

Topics include the epidemiology of football-related concussions; Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy; short- and long-term consequences of concussions; diagnosing and managing concussions; and decreasing the risk of concussion. Panel discussions will address mitigating the impact of football-related concussions as well as the legal and ethical considerations in the advocacy of post-concussive players.

Among the events presenters are:

  • Dr. Julian Bailes, professor and chair of neurosurgery at the West Virginia University Medical School and director of the Brain Injury Research Institute at the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center
  • Dr. Ann C. McKee, associate professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University School of Medicine and co-director of the Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University.
  • Dr. Mark R. Lovell, founding director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program
  • Robert P. Fitzsimmons, former attorney for the late Pittsburgh Steeler Mike Webster and partner at Fitzimmons Law Offices
  • John A. Norwig, head athletic trainer for the Pittsburgh Steelers; Dr. Mark R. Lovell, founding director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program

Co-sponsored by the Wecht Institute of Forensic Science and Law with the Rangos School of Health Sciences at Duquesne University, the symposium is presented as part of the institute’s Forensic Fridays continuing legal education (CLE) and professional education seminar series.

Is Football Bad for the Brain? Forensic Scientific, Medical-Legal and Societal Aspects of the Concussion Debate is open to the public. Call 412.396.1330 or visit www.duq.edu/forensics/forensic-fridays/brain.cfm to register and for cost and additional details.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
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