The Miller School and the KiDZ Neuroscience Center at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis held a special assembly at Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove this month to educate students about spinal cord injury and concussion in sports.
At the September 13 assembly, Marc Buoniconti, president of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, discussed the college football injury that left him paralyzed 25 years ago and the advances in spinal cord injury research, including the start of human trials, that hold promise of a cure.
And Gillian Hotz, Ph.D., director of the Concussion Program at UHealth Sports Medicine, reviewed the signs and symptoms of concussion and described how Ransom students will be tested with ImPACT this fall.
A computerized neurocognitive assessment tool, ImPACT is used by coaches, athletic trainers, doctors, and other health professionals to help determine whether athletes are fit to return to play after suffering a concussion. Administered pre-season, the 30-minute test establishes a baseline which can be used to compare to post-injury tests, and to devise the best course of treatment.
Hotz also introduced David Goldstein, a 10th-grade student who suffered multiple concussions while playing soccer. David described how Hotz and Kester Nedd, D.O., voluntary associate professor of neurology, treated his post concussive symptoms at the UHealth Sports Medicine Concussion Clinic and recommended the return-to-play program under which he gradually improved and was able to resume playing soccer.
David and Ransom are now teaming up to raise money for ImPACT testing for all of Miami-Dade County’s public high school football players starting next spring, and to support the research efforts of the Concussion Program.