May 29, 2014 — President Barack Obama hosted a national summit at the White House to publicize the growing problem of sports-related concussions among children and adolescents.

At the summit, the White House highlighted a selection of new commitments (including some of CHOP’s work) by the sports community, clinicians, non-profit organizations and other key stakeholders to invest in both research and improved clinical care related to youth concussions.

Attendees of the summit began to look at strategies to keep children and adolescents safe while enjoying sports, and determine the best ways to provide parents, coaches and school leaders with the knowledge required to care for children and adolescents recovering from concussion. 

Participating in the summit from CHOP: Madeline Bell, president and chief operating officer of CHOP, and Christina Master, MD, FAAP, CAQSM, sports medicine specialist.

CHOP plans to continue to build upon its Minds Matter Concussion Program, launched in 2011, which is responsible for improving care for children with concussion through a number of initiatives, including improving telephone triage, developing a comprehensive concussion clinical decision support tool, and expanding outreach to school- and club-based sports organizations.

CHOP also is planning new initiatives, including developing a comprehensive concussion registry, with support from CHOP and the Clinical Translational Science Award Program, to look at the genomics of concussion. In addition, CHOP will collaborate with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to utilize the electronic health record to understand the epidemiology of concussion in children and adolescents.

Finally, research led by Akiva Cohen, PhD, is contributing to the science of treatment for sports-related concussed youth. Dr. Cohen and his staff, via an FDA-approved clinical trial, have developed a promising dietary therapy that repairs impairment created by concussion in rodents.