Top names at head in­jury con­fer­ence

Hastings Leader - - Front Page - BY BRENDA VOWDEN brenda.vowden@nzme.co.nz

An up­com­ing con­fer­ence or­gan­ised by the Hawke’s Bay Brain In­jury As­so­ci­a­tion (BIA) is at­tract­ing some top names.

World-renowned brain re­searcher Pro­fes­sor Barry Willer has teamed up with Dr Ewan Kennedy, Dr Stephen Kara, Pro­fes­sor Ciaran Bol­ger and Dr Danielle Salmon to dis­cuss the lat­est re­search at next month’s Con­cus­sion — A Chang­ing Cul­ture con­fer­ence.

BIA man­ager Dairne Withers says the aim of the con­fer­ence is to pro­vide world class ed­u­ca­tion and in­for­ma­tion on the treat­ment and man­age­ment of con­cus­sion.

“We need to have the dis­cus­sion around how the cul­ture of con­cus­sion man­age­ment and re­port­ing it is chang­ing and how we con­tinue to move for­ward.”

Dairne says through BIA’s on­go­ing sup­port and ed­u­ca­tion in the com­mu­nity, it be­came ap­par­ent there was de­mand for con­cus­sion ed­u­ca­tion for those work­ing in this field.

“We are for­tu­nate enough to have an on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship with Pro­fes­sor Barry Willer, and so he agreed to team up with us to meet this de­mand while he was in New Zealand this year. He has sup­ported us to se­cure this amaz­ing line up of pre­sen­ters,” Dairne says.

Barry is the pa­tron of the NZ Brain In­jury As­so­ci­a­tion and has a PhD in Psy­chol­ogy from York Univer­sity in Toronto, Canada. He is a Pro­fes­sor in the De­part­ment of Psy­chi­a­try at the Univer­sity at Buf­falo, Ja­cobs School of Medicine. Dur­ing this time he has be­come an in­ter­na­tion­ally renowned re­searcher on trau­matic brain in­jury. More re­cently his re­search fo­cus has been on con­cus­sion and along with his re­search part­ner, has demon­strated that a pri­mary char­ac­ter­is­tic of sports re­lated con­cus­sion is ex­er­cise in­tol­er­ance.

Their re­search has been in­stru­men­tal in pro­duc­ing as­sess­ments and di­ag­no­sis based on ev­i­dence of au­to­nomic ner­vous sys­tem im­bal­ance.

They have also demon­strated that ex­er­cise based treat­ment is the most ef­fi­ca­cious means to as­sist in re­cov­ery. Barry has writ­ten three books and pub­lished more than 150 peer-re­viewed re­search ar­ti­cles.

BIA has also de­vel­oped a re­la­tion­ship with Dr Danielle Salmon, from NZ Rugby, through sup­port­ing her cur­rent re­search project in Hawke’s Bay.

“We are so ex­cited to have her in­volved in this event.”

Danielle is cur­rently the Re­search Of­fi­cer for NZ Rugby. In this role she is con­duct­ing the in­jury sur­veil­lance for NZ Su­per Rugby teams, co­or­di­nat­ing Rug­byS­mart’s con­cus­sion aware­ness, ed­u­ca­tion and man­age­ment strat­egy and is the re­search co­or­di­na­tor for Ac­tive Con­cus­sion Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion study be­ing con­ducted with Su­per Rugby dur­ing the 2018 spon­sored by the NFL play­ers as­so­ci­a­tion. She com­pleted her PhD at the Univer­sity of Otago and is a mem­ber of the South Is­land Brain In­jury Re­search Group.

The con­fer­ence is open to any­one work­ing in, or who has an in­ter­est in, the field of brain in­jury. Dairne says ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing of this kind leads to bet­ter prac­tice and out­comes for those who have ex­pe­ri­enced an in­jury.

“With this con­fer­ence be­ing ad­ver­tised na­tion­ally, the aim is to im­prove out­comes for those in Hawke’s Bay and across New Zealand.

■ BIS Con­fer­ence, Napier Con­fer­ence Cen­tre, Ma­rine Pa­rade, Napier, Fri­day, Novem­ber 23, 8.30am-5pm and Satur­day, Novem­ber 24, 8.30am-4pm. For more in­for­ma­tion email liaison@brain­in­juryhb.co.nz or phone 878 6875 ext.2. For regis­tra­tion visit www.brain­in­juryhb.org.nz

Pro­fes­sor Barry Willer

Dr Danielle Salmon

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