National conference to focus on latest pediatric concussion research

The Center for Health Living and Longevity at UT Arlington will host a national gathering on youth concussions April 12-13, bringing together top experts from across the U.S. for communication and advice.

The 2nd annual Concussion Summit: Concussion in Youth Sports is being organized by Jacob Resch, director of the Brain Injury Laboratory at The University of Texas at Arlington. The conference is open to the public, with a registration cost of $60 for adults and $30 for high school and college students. It is intended to engage a broad audience, from parents and medical professionals to athletic coaches and trainers. Gathering so many experts in one place will help advance understanding of youth concussions, said Resch.

“Last year’s first Concussion Summit at UT Arlington was well received by attendees and provided a rare opportunity for clinicians to interact with experts in the field,” said Resch, an assistant professor in the UT Arlington College of Education and Health Professions. Along with colleagues from UT Southwestern Medical Center and Texas Health Resources, Resch is currently conducting a study of more than 2,000 youth athletes.

“Once again, we have a diverse panel of experts from across the United States and Texas who will address issues such as the assessment of the young athlete, the effect of concussion on quality of life and how multiple disciplines can work together to manage sport concussion in youth sport,” he said.

More than 300,000 concussion injuries were documented during the 2011-2012 school year, according to the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance Study. The issue has received increased attention in recent years as professional athletes have spoken out about the long-term health risks associated with multiple impacts.

The UT Arlington Brain Injury Laboratory is conducting several studies to help inform return-to-play decisions with research and to emphasize the need for multiple concussion management tools at the high school level.

Keynote speakers for the April conference will be Donny Anderson, Green Bay Packer from 1966 to 1971, Pro-Bowler, and two-time Super Bowl Champion team member; and Adam Pearce, professional wrestling star and advocate for concussion awareness and education.

Other scheduled speakers are:

  • Dr. Hunt Batjer and Munro Cullum, of UT Southwestern Medical Center. Batjer is distinguished chair of neurological surgery and is co-chair of the NFL Committee on Head, Neck and Spine Injuries. Cullum is professor and director of neuropsychology at UT Southwestern and conducts research into problems faced by retired NFL athletes.
  • William Barr, professor and director of neuropsychology at the New York University School of Medicine, a frequent author of concussion literature.
  • Tamara Valovich-McLeod, professor and chair of sports medicine at A.T. Still University in Arizona. She is also director of the Athletic Training Practice-Based Research Network.

Several corporations that specialize in concussion management are co-sponsoring the April conference. Those are worldwide education company Pearson, Balanced Athlete Concussion Management Solutions, of Lewisville; Concussion Vital Signs, which is a product of Morrisville, N.C.-based CNS Vital Signs; and Bertec Corporation, of Columbus, Ohio.

For more information about the Concussion in Youth Sports conference and instructions for registration, please visit

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution with more than 33,800 student and 2,200 faculty members in the heart of North Texas. For more information, please visit

Media contact: Traci Peterson,, 817-272-9208

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