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Nemours Neurosurgeon Commits to Research and Community Outreach at White House Summit on Concussions
When President Obama hosted the White House Healthy Kids and Safe Sports Concussion Summit Thursday morning he convened experts on the topic from around the country, including the chief of the division of neurosurgery at Orlando’s Nemours Children’s Hospital. Dr. Todd Maugans has conducted research into the impacts of concussions on the brains of children and educated the community on the prevention and treatment of the injury. At Thursday’s summit, Maugans and Nemours committed to do even more.
“Children are not small adults. Existing research on the impact of concussions on adult brains does not adequately translate to them,” said Maugans. “Nemours will be enrolling children diagnosed with concussions in studies designed to understand the functional changes to their brains. This and other research will aid in the prevention, evaluation and treatment of concussed youth athletes.”
A new Nemours clinical trial will study the use of a specially formulated fluid that athletes consume prior to practice or competition; this fluid will include naturally- occurring chemical substances proven to increase cerebral blood flow.
“It is very possible that foods in kitchens right now, like cocoa, could protect and heal the brain,” said Maugans. “I expect this trial will show this intervention will reduce the incidents of concussions and lead to new ways that families can easily protect their young athletes.”
In Central Florida, Maugans has been regularly meeting with coaches, parents and athletes to educate them on how to prevent and treat concussions. In the fall of 2013, he spoke to coaches from around the country at the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national conference. At the White House summit, Nemours committed to maximize that outreach.
Nemours also committed to further leverage KidsHealth.org to become a dominant electronic platform to educate parents, children and youth about concussions. KidsHealth.org is a Nemours-owned website and the most-visited website in the world devoted to children’s health, with more than 1 million visits daily. Presently it features a new animated video to better demonstrate what happens to the brain during a concussion. It has been added to the core, age-appropriate articles on concussions.