dr. uzma samadanI, md phd is a neurosurgeon and brain injury researcher at hennepin county medical center, the largest level one trauma center in the state of minnesota and one of the busiest in the united states. SHE SERVES AS THE ROCKSWALD KAPLAN ENDOWED CHAIR FOR TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY AT HCMC, IS AN ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR OF NEUROSURGERY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA AND she directs the work of the brain injury research lab.



When Charlene had her accident, Dr. Samadani operated on her. She knew immediately when she saw Charlene in the operating room that she was not the typical 66 year old woman BECAUSE of her toned, triathlete physique. Dr. Samadani operated on Charlene 5 timeS, BUT Charlene ultimately passed away due to sustained brain injuries.

dr. samadani is inspired by Charlene's love for endurance sports, the outdoors and relentless spirit. Charlene's 5K Dog Run is honored to support the research of Dr. Samadani. We know that Charlene would love an event in her memory going to support the proceeds of brain injury research in youth athletes. 

about dr. samadani's current study:

Concussions and sports have been a very hot topic over the past few years.  To help reduce injury and the consequences of repeated concussion, many sports leagues have changed rules, updated equipment, and extended recovery protocols. However, one often overlooked piece of concussion prevention involves training athletes’ bodies. The strength of a person’s neck has been shown to be associated with head movement upon impact. Greater strength means less movement, and less chance of serious injury.

In addition, a small study found that student athletes who incurred a concussion during their season had lower neck strength than their unconcussed teammates.  To expand on this, our study seeks to find out how well a neck strengthening routine can reduce the risk of concussion in student athletes.  In this study, both male and female student athletes, ages 12-23, from a variety of sports including contact sports like football and hockey as well as non-contact sports like tennis and cross country, will follow a simple neck strengthening program over the course of 1-3 years.  Neck strength measurements will be done periodically, and whenever a subject gets a concussion, severity and duration will be recorded. 

So far, we have collected baseline data on 196 athletes, and as expected, have found males have greater neck strength than females, and neck STRENGTH generally increases with age.  More time is needed to find a consistent trend, but within our study population, 16 concussions have been reported.  This means only 8% of our athletes have had a concussion so far, which is lower than the 11% generally reported as “normal”.  Our study is still in its first year, but we hope to continue finding lower rates within our strong necked athlete.

find out more here: www.samadanilab.com