Yesterday, President Obama gave the opening speech at the day-long summit on concussions in Washington, D.C. Nearly 250,000 kids and young adults visit hospital emergency rooms each year with brain injuries caused by sports or other recreational activity, the White House said.
In his speech, Mr. Obama emphasized the need for greater protection in youth and amateur sports and highlighted the millions of dollars that have been pledged from the National Football League, the National Institutes of Health and others to conduct research that could begin to provide answers and improve safety. According to ESPN.com and The Associated Press, "Among the financial commitments is a $30 million joint research effort by the NCAA and the Department of Defense and an NFL commitment of $25 million over the next three years to promote youth sports safety..."
Other research efforts on concussions and head injuries include:
• An NIH project looking at the chronic effects of repetitive concussions. The work is supported by the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health through an initial investment of $16 million from the NFL.
• UCLA will use $10 million from New York Giants co-owner Steve Tisch to launch a program to study sports concussion prevention, outreach, research and treatment for athletes of all ages, but especially youth. The money will also support planning for a national system to determine the incidence of youth sports concussions.
• The Institute of Medicine, which advises the government, called for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to establish and oversee such a system to begin to help provide answers to questions about the risks of youth sports, such as how often the youngest athletes suffer concussions and which sports have the highest rates."