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Increased attention is being paid to concussions, which are being more widely recognized as injuries to the brain that can have long-lasting effects.
Researchers, especially those at Toronto Western Hospital's Krembil Neuroscience Centre's Canadian Sports Concussion Project (CSCP), are hard at work to find ways to treat this common brain injury.
But in the meantime, what help is available to those experiencing persistent post-concussive symptoms?
Enter a two-day workshop to educate and support those who are finding it challenging to cope with these symptoms.
When Symptoms of Single and Multiple Concussions Persist: An Education and Support Workshop was conceived by Drs. Robin Green and Lesley Ruttan, both clinical neuropsychologists at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute. The intent is to provide a resource for individuals who are experiencing persistent post-concussive symptoms.
"Currently, there isn't much available in terms of support services for people who have experienced concussions," said Ruttan. "The workshop has been very helpful in terms of fostering a community and giving these individuals the sense that they're not alone in their suffering."
The workshop was originally created for the participants of one of the CSCP's ongoing concussion research studies as a way to give back to these individuals who provide valuable data about this still-mysterious condition. The four-hour session, held at TWH and split over two nights, has since been opened to the public.
Three workshops have been run to date with a plan for future sessions to occur on an every other month basis.
Led by Ruttan and two post-doctoral fellows who helped her design the workshop, Drs. Sabrina Lombardi and Liesel-Ann Meusel, it offers participants:
"The symptoms experienced by these individuals can be wide-ranging and affect them physically, cognitively and emotionally, making it hard for participants to understand and cope with them," said Ruttan. "Because these diverse symptoms can impact on one another, it may be the case that some symptoms have little to do with the concussion or brain injury, but rather exacerbate symptoms in another area, such as lack of sleep causing attentional difficulties.
"The workshop helps to explain all of this."
The workshop will continue to evolve as new research emerges around symptom management and concussion recovery, and in response to feedback from participants on what they find most beneficial.
Those interested in participating can call 416-597-3422 x7789 to register.