First, I want to thank the multitude of people who made this inaugural PUCCS tournament possible. What began as a hope and a concept back in June rapidly evolved into what we hope will serve as an awakening to players, parents, and coaches. Either knowingly or unknowingly, when your children take the ice they may be risking potentially devastating brain injury – the game of hockey is faster than ever and any blunt force trauma to the head has the potential to permanently injure a child’s brain. That is a terrifying reality.
The key to our first hockey tournament, endorsed by both USA Hockey and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons, is our hope to gain insight into the mechanisms that cause brain concussions. Why are some concussions mild and self-remitting while others cause lifelong memory, mood, and concentration problems? Why are multiple concussions over a short time interval potentially lethal?
Currently, there are several theories that attempt to explain the mechanism in which brain injury occurs but there is a paucity of ‘real data’ surrounding childhood concussions resulting from blunt force trauma. The goal of PUCCS is to begin to unravel these mysteries using University at Buffalo Neurosurgery’s nationally-ranked research expertise and ongoing collaboration with regional concussion experts to gain comprehensive understanding of impact brain injuries which are largely misunderstood.
Lastly, to everyone who helped make this event possible, I can never express my gratitude sufficiently. In addition, I hope that you continue to help spread awareness of potentially life-altering consequences of childhoodconcussion injury.
Elad I. Levy, MD, FACS, FAHA
Professor of Neurosurgery & Radiology, University at Buffalo Neurosurgery
Director, Endovascular Fellowship & Stroke Service
Co-Director, Gates Stroke Center at Kaleida Health