PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – UPMC Sports Medicine will host a Concussion Seminar where more than 400 health care professionals from around the world will converge at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh from June 6 through June 9.

UPMC’s Manager of Media Relations Chuck Finder told KDKA Radio’s Rob Pratte that physicians, athletic trainers, neuropsychologists and other professionals from Europe, South America, Canada and 33 states in the United States are expected to attend this event.

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Pratte and Finder were joined by three doctors from the Pittsburgh area and one from the Boston area who all agree that this seminar will allow those attending to compare concussion research findings in order to ultimately find preventative treatments for those in sports who suffer from concussions.

In the first segment, Dr. Rory Cooper of the University of Pittsburgh, explained how UPMC has created transition programs for wounded veterans with concussions that look at the long-term rehabilitation goals of veterans in order to get them healthy once again. Cooper has been involved in the Wounded Warrior Project since around the time of 9/11, when wounded warriors needed specialty treatment.

Doctors Bill Meehan of Harvard and Boston Children’s Hospital, and Joe Maroon, a neurosurgeon at the University of Pittsburgh, both agree that new research at the cellular level is needed to prevent and treat concussions.

“We don’t know enough about it yet, it is a young science, but more information is needed so in the future, we can judge an athlete’s risk of developing a concussion and taking the proper steps to prevent it,” said Dr. Meehan.

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He also said he chose UPMC as the seminar site because “UPMC is the originator of advanced findings and are perceived as the leading institutions for brain injuries.”

“Concussions occur when there is a disturbance of neurological function in the brain,” said Dr. Maroon. “By looking more into the physiology of concussions, we can determine a baseline on when athletes can return to their sports.”

And later, Dr. Anthony Kontos – from the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program – believes concussion research will establish new rules to help athletes learn how to play their sports properly to prevent head injuries.

The UPMC Concussion Seminar takes place June 6 through 9 at the Omni William Penn Hotel. Stay tuned to KDKA Radio for updates on the conference.

Tune in to Rob Pratte every Saturday and Sunday morning from 5 a.m. to 1 p.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA.

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