Experts gathering at Western to talk concussions
Western University is gearing up for a public symposium on concussions that will feature some of the top medical experts in the city in an effort to help find new ways to treat and prevent concussions.
For former OHL referee Brad Beer, a moment on the on Jan. 6, 2011 changes his life forever.
"I clipped skates with a player and I fell back and I did not get my hands out so I took the full force from the fall on the back of my head."
He suffered a concussion that night in Windsor and two days later his symptoms worsened.
"On the Saturday evening I went to Barrie to do another game. And it wasn't long into that game that I found out that something clearly was wrong. I lost peripheral vision and I skated into the end boards.”
What followed was 18 months of healing and a new perspective on concussions.
Beer says "You've only got one brain. Treat it with the care that it deserves."
He will be among those taking part in the symposium on concussions called ‘See the Line’ starting August 14th.
Dr. Michael Strong, dean of the Schulich School of Medicine, says the symposium will touch on a number of issues relating to concussion.
"I’m very excited about this…In London we have tremendous expertise in this area so the ‘See the Line’ is really meant to be the focus around which we're going to bring all of that expertise together."
It's hoped the symposium will be a catalyst for further collaboration among members London's medical community on concussion research.
"In the long term what we really are looking to do is establish a very stable research group taking all of these individuals that work now - some together, some independently - and put them under one physical or even a virtual roof," Strong says.
The symposium will also feature notables from the world of sports including the Hamilton Tiger Cats’ Andy Fantuz and Western University coach Greg Marshall.
NHL great Eric Lindros, who is also expected to take part, has also just been named the honourary chair of the collaborative initiative to tackle concussions.