National experts address issues and potentials of concussion

The National Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Medicine present “Concussion: A National Challenge,” a convening of the nation’s top concussion scientists, engineers, clinicians and researchers to educate and inform the public of scientifically based, factual information about the detection, treatment and prevention of concussions.

From June 23 to 24 at the Global Center for Health Innovation, approximately 20 of the nation’s leaders in basic science, medicine and engineering will offer lay, informative presentations exploring the known medical issues and the potential technologies that will foster greater safety for the public. The goal of this meeting is to help set a national agenda leading to better brain health through the detection and prevention of concussion, as well as to identify the most promising approaches that should be pursued in three major areas: sports, battlefield and automobiles.

“It is the mission of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to advise the government and the general public about critical issues facing our nation,” said Hunter Peckham, Distinguished University Professor, Donnell Institute Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Orthopaedics, Case Western Reserve University, and NAE member. “Since 2000, Case Western Reserve University has hosted several NAE regional or topical conferences on subjects such as biomedical technology, energy, vaccine production and shale gas. But concussion is different; everyone knows of someone that has suffered from concussion.”

The conference is hosted and co-sponsored by Case Western Reserve University. Peckham is chair of “Concussion: A National Challenge,” while Jay Alberts, the Edward F. and Barbara A. Bell Family Endowed Chair and director of the Concussion Center, Cleveland Clinic, is the conference general co-chair. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove, CEO of Cleveland Clinic and IOM member, is the event’s honorary chair.

More than 1,000 participants are expected to attend the event, with main seating in the Global Center for Health Innovation Junior Ballroom. Overflow seating will be available at the Convention Center. The event is free and open to the public with advance registration.

“Concussion has come into national awareness as a major health crisis facing the public. With the rapid advancements in neurological medicine, it has become clear that repetitive brain injury, even at relatively low energy levels, is a source of brain trauma that faces our youth, men and women, and elderly—from playing sports, to automobile collisions or falls, to the battlefield—there is a critical need to prevent and detect the neurological effects of these injuries through the cooperative exploration of experts from different disciplines within medicine and engineering as we jointly seek solutions,” said Alberts.

Event Details:

  • “Concussion: A National Challenge” is free and open to the general public
  • Advanced registration is required at
  • June 23-24 at the Global Center for Health Innovation
  • Full agenda and list of speakers with titles and affiliations available at

Concussion Facts and Stats from the National Academies:

  • The reported number of individuals aged 19 and under treated in U.S. emergency departments for concussions and other non-fatal, sports- and recreation-related TBIs increased from 150,000 in 2001 to 250,000 in 2009.
  • Football, ice hockey, lacrosse, wrestling and soccer are associated with the highest rates of reported concussions for U.S. male athletes at the high school and college levels.
  • Soccer, lacrosse and basketball are associated with the highest rates of reported concussions for U.S. female athletes at the high school and college levels. Women’s ice hockey at the collegiate level has the highest rate of reported concussions.
  • Youths with a history of prior concussion have higher rates of reported sports-related concussions.
  • Among military personnel, mild traumatic brain injuries, of which concussions are one category, represent about 85 percent of all TBIs.
  • Among military personnel, about 80 percent of mild TBIs do not occur in the deployed setting and are commonly caused by automobile crashes involving privately owned and military vehicles, falls, sports and recreation activities, and military training.