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UNL Announce

Molfese named to national panel to study brain injuries

Dennis Molfese
Dennis Molfese

A UNL psychologist has been appointed to a national committee charged with producing a comprehensive report to Congress and President Barack Obama regarding brain injuries in children and young adults.

Dennis Molfese, professor of psychology and director of the Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior, is serving on the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine Committee on Sports-Related Concussions in Youth. The committee is made up of 14 people with a wide range of expertise from across the United States.

Molfese, who was appointed through a nomination process, said he was pleased to be a part of the group.

“It’s a very exciting enterprise with which to be involved,” Molfese said. “I’m serving with very bright individuals and major concussion experts in the country. It is a tremendous learning experience as well.”

The task at hand is an important one, Molfese said. Each year, 10.1 million Americans are estimated to suffer from brain injuries, while 1.7 million emergency room visits are recorded each year for concussions.

“If you take into account that 4.1 million children are born each year, that’s a significant percentage of the population experiencing these injuries,” he said.

The committee convened in January in Washington, D.C., and will meet several more times through mid-summer 2013 to produce the report. The group will examine current scientific literature on concussions, risk factors, screening and diagnosis, treatment and management and long-term consequences.

The report will delve into each of the areas and will eventually include a number of recommendations to elected leaders, Molfese said.

— Deann Gayman, University Communications