Saturday 24 July 2021 - 11:13:35 am

MoHAP, EHS showcase ground-breaking research on concussion in young athletes at Arab Health 2021


DUBAI, 21st June, 2021 (WAM) -- The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) and the Emirates Health Services (EHS), in partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), shed light on three groundbreaking research papers on concussion in young athletes.

The studies, which are part of CHOP's Concussion Minds Matter Programme, focus on the diagnostic tools of the future to assess the level of trauma in real-time as the athlete is competing and experiencing an injury.

This came during the participation of the ministry and the EHS in the Arab Health 2021, which takes place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 21st - 24th June.

The studies are built around three main topics, the first is measuring the pupillary light reflex function after concussion/injury using a portable hand-held pupillometer that uses a standard white light source and an infrared camera.

The second study is about using unique designed mouthguards to measure forces experienced by youth athletes in the course of routine practice and competition and when sustaining a concussion, while the third study tackled the functional near-infrared spectroscopy, which is a portable neuroimaging modality that can capture changes in cognitive workload-related cerebral blood flow in real-life situations that is similar to functional MRI. It was found that this may serve as a tool to help determine the extent of injury and recovery and safe return to play.

Dr. Youssef Mohamed Al Serkal, EHS Director-General, stressed the importance of strengthening ties with CHOP to develop surgeries for young athletes using innovative methods and integrated studies. He also mentioned that the cooperation with leading healthcare institutions falls within the implementation of the national strategy to support competitive and innovative healthcare research, build an attractive and supportive academic research environment, and establish national, regional, and international partnerships in children's health field.

"Our partnership with Children's Hospital of Philadelphia is a long-standing and robust," said Dr. Kalthoum Al Baloushi, Director of Hospitals Administration, EHS, adding that this partnership is built on utilising the innovative and digital tools and designing a framework taking children's health services and research to new heights.

Christina L. Master, Executive Director of CHOP, said, "We are pleased to be part of Arab Health and to share the Ministry of Health and the Emirates Health Services their pavilion to highlight our efforts in medical education and research in the children's healthcare field."

She added, "Today, properly diagnosing a concussion is a challenge due to a lack of objective diagnostic tests for adolescents. In recent years, researchers at CHOP have studied the body’s visio-vestibular system the sensory system that processes spatial motion and visual information to seek objective biomarkers for concussion that can support diagnosis and guide individualised treatment and recovery plans. Athletes all over the world need prompt diagnosis and treatment for full recovery of their concussion and return to their sport in top shape. The aim is to have a handheld device that can be used in sports tournaments  to measure cerebral blood flow and detect potential post-concussion syndrome."

WAM/ /Amjad Saleh/Hassan Bashir