The effects of concussions have been studied and documented in a major motion picture, which has led to a more public conversation within the healthcare community. Now the American Association of Neurological Surgeons will spotlight the injury.
The AANS is hosting its 84th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago from April 30 through May 4, with an opening session discussing how neurosurgery has affected the National Football League. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgery professor at Emory Univer-sity and chief medical correspondent for CNN, will moderate a panel that includes physicians and scientists, as well as Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president of health and safety.
The NFL last year appointed Dr. Elizabeth Nabel, president of Brigham and Women’s Health Care in Boston, as its first chief health and medical adviser. NFL officials have been criticized for minimizing research on the long-term effects of concussions their players have suffered. But Miller acknowledged in March that there is a link between football-related head trauma and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive degenerative brain disease found in individuals who have suffered repeated head trauma.
“I see neurosurgery as a capstone specialty in the world of medicine,” said AANS President Dr. H. Hunt Batjer. “Over and over again, we’ve seen that when neurosurgeons get in front of issues, the results turn out much better for all of medicine and even beyond those boundaries.”
Vendors of neurological and spinal devices, including Medtronic, NuVasive and Zimmer Biomet will feature their latest products and research, and Stryker Corp. is expected to showcase its first 3-D printed spinal implant.