Swiss Concussion Center at the Zurich BrainFair for the first time

Since 2002, the University Hospital, the University of Zurich and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) have been presenting the latest research results and developments in the field of neurosciences to the public every year at the week-long BrainFair. Laboratories and clinics also open the doors in addition to lectures, exhibitions and discussion forums. This year, the Schulthess Clinic participated for the first time as a cooperation partner of the Swiss Concussion Center (SCC) in this unique event, which attracts up to 4,000 people. Although the SCC was founded less than two years ago, with the focus on diagnostics, treatment and research in sports-associated brain concussion, it was already represented at the BrainFair with two contributions.

Under the key question, “Is concussion harmless?” Dr Nina Feddermann-Demont gave information on the latest diagnostics and adequate treatment methods after concussion in sports in her lecture. The subsequent exchange between doctors, researchers and visitors not only demonstrated the great interest in the topic, but also that further studies are essential for the clarification of certain questions, such as the long-term effects of concussion on brain functions and structures.

On Saturday, the SCC was open to the public and some areas of diagnostics and therapy were demonstrated at the premises. The visitors could see for themselves how well their vestibular organ, oculomotor system and balance were functioning. The therapy methods, which are otherwise available exclusively to our athletes, could also be tried out as part of an SCC tour. Visitors were shown the process from the accident, followed by diagnosis and the therapy, to the step-wise return-to-sport by means of specific patient examples. Visitors were informed about the latest research results with poster presentations.

The Schulthess Clinic and the SCC are pleased to present the new focus on patient care and research at this prestigious event via the invitation, the great interest of the public and a great deal of positive feedback from the participants.

People @ Swiss Concussion Center: Urs Scheifele – Physicist, Research Assistant

In a loose series of short video interviews, we present the people who work at the Swiss Concussion Center and contribute daily to enable athletes to make a safe “return to sport” after concussions.

What is your job at the Swiss Concussion Center?

My primary job here is to assess athletes who have come to us having suffered a concussion or are suffering from balance disorders. I have here two rooms with very complex equipment for this purpose, with many technical devices, with which we carry out the tests. I am also responsible for the technical support of these devices and their further development. I also write other programs. Finally, we want a better understanding of the data and to continue to develop the devices.

What are your goals at the Swiss Concussion Center?

My goal, of course, is to provide the perfect service for the athletes who come to us. Also, to help the physicians to better understand the (collected, editor’s note) data. A part is also research. The more athletes we look after, the better we understand what the measurements tell us and the better the therapy can become. And if I can help with that, I am really happy.

What is your motivation to contribute to the Swiss Concussion Center?

What motivates me here is, of course, the joy of working with the technical equipment, the measuring. For a physicist, this is quite typical. Also, to look after the athletes, to be there for the athletes and then to give this data, which we obtain using these devices, to the physicians and help them to understand the data so that they then are able develop a good therapy from it.

 

People @ Swiss Concussion Center: Cornelia Meier, physiotherapist

In a loose series of short video interviews, we present the people who work at the Swiss Concussion Center and contribute daily to enable athlete athletes a safe “return to sport” after concussions.

What is your job at the Swiss Concussion Center?

I am physiotherapist and specialized in vestibular and visual systems. My task is to decipher the symptoms with which the athletes come to us. With the help of additional clinical and high technology diagnostics and in an interdisciplinary team, we can then initiate a specific rehabilitation program.

What are your goals at the Swiss Concussion Center?

Various problems may arise from concussions, which may be independent but may also be linked to one another. The goal is to bring the athletes back into their everyday life and then back into their sport with a targeted therapy adapted to them and their problems, step by step.

What is your motivation to contribute to the Swiss Concussion Center?

As part of my work as a therapist, the Swiss Concussion Center offers me the opportunity to bring my specialist knowledge in vestibulo-oculomotor rehabilitation to a motivated, interdisciplinary team. Above all, the highly specific requirements for the vestibular and visual system of an athlete in his own sport are a big challenge, which I place above all else.

 

People @ Swiss Concussion Center: Karin Mani, Research Assistant

In a loose series of short video interviews, we present the people who work at the Swiss Concussion Center and contribute daily to enable athlete athletes a safe “return to play” after concussion.

Interview Transcript:

What is your job at the Swiss Concussion Center?

I work at the Swiss Concussion Center in the field of research. I am mainly concerned with scientific questions around dizziness and balance problems. Furthermore, I am responsible for diagnostics in the field of postural control. That is, the athletes come to me and do various computer-based tests, and I can then use these results to make a detailed diagnosis and use this diagnosis in conjunction with their own physiotherapy team to create an individual, personalised rehabilitation for the athletes. This is all based on research results.

What are your goals at the Swiss Concussion Center?

With my research results, I would like to contribute to a more detailed diagnosis after a traumatic head injury. This also means for an athlete that they can start a specific rehabilitation therapy faster.

What is your motivation to contribute to the Swiss Concussion Center?

The people who come to the Swiss Concussion Center are my motivation. One must imagine: the athletes lose their hobby, their job, and their social environment all at the same time. They come to therapy and work incredibly hard. If I can speed up the rehabilitation process with my work, then this is enough motivation.

People @ Swiss Concussion Center: Mario Bizzini, Head of Physiotherapy

In a loose series of short video interviews, we present the people who work at the Swiss Concussion Center and contribute daily to enable athlete athletes a safe “return to sport” after concussion.

Interview in text form:

What is your job at the Swiss Concussion Center?

I am responsible for the physiotherapy, rehabilitation, and training departments at the Swiss Concussion Center and coordinate a team of specialised physiotherapists and sports physiotherapists who look after our athletes. In doing so, we design customised programmes from the gymnastics room to the sports field.

What are your goals at the Swiss Concussion Center?

Our goal is to provide a safe “return to sport” so that our athletes can return to their sports in the best possible condition. It is a daily challenge to design the individual support, as every athlete is different, both regarding sport and the individual problems regarding concussion.

What is your motivation to contribute to the Swiss Concussion Center?

Apart from the fact that I like to work with international athletes, the Swiss Concussion Center offers a unique opportunity to work in this important area. The topic of concussion is becoming increasingly important and taken seriously, and I am very motivated to build up a Swiss competence Center with an interdisciplinary team.