Reply to Ken Dryden article online with GRANTLAND concerning playing HeadSmart proposal to Gary Bettman

Dr Mr Dryden
Your article in GRANTLAND concerning Sidney Crosby will hit home I hope with reductions of direct head hits around the hockey world.
I would like to join your Head Smart campaign.
I am on sabbatical leave here at McGill studying minor cerebral head trauma, brain concussions. It has been an exciting year. I have teamed myself up
with Dr Faleh Tamimi, a Spanish prosthodontist dental researcher. Dr Faleh has some interesting observations about concussions changing central bone metabolism.
What does dentistry have to do with a neurological condition like a brain concussion? Surprisingly, a lot. Just yesterday I got more information via a suggestion from my son. It’s not only vagal nerve/brain pull it’s also glossopharangeal nerve involvement too ! So that’s both nerves X and IX involved with traction pulling within the brain, disturbing central bone metabolism in addition to cardiac pacing disturbances, amongst other things at the brain stem site of the medulla insertion points where the nerves enter.
If you care to read a very rough blog of some of my thoughts on the concussion research check out on Google, This is an ongoing site for my motivation and attempts to better understand how in Nature, how the brain reacts following a concussion.
If I was to summarize my life work, here’s how I see the way Nature does things in the brain as the concussion happens. The brain self rotates inside. Both hemispheres act like rotating objects inside the skull on the rebound after the head hit. In medicine we have been taught the coup-contra coup, but the rotation is something not apparent. Things get stretched inside the brain. This stretching is especially felt as a tension on specific nerves into zones within the brain. The neurophysiology to pay attention to are the vagal nerves, (X). (Now the IX nerve also) From the brain stem, medulla zone, both left and right exit through foramen on either side of the base skull to run down along the jugular anatomy of the neck. Both vagal nerves are brain pulled during concussive deceleration, hence my term for brainvortex.
Fortuitously I was directed to a very important observation by former director of the Montreal Neurological Institute, Dr William (Bill) Feindel many, many years ago. Penfield wrote an article in 1930 in the journal Brain. Penfield coined the term, brain pull, a specific brain strain/tension increasing inside the damaged, scarring brain capable of causing seizures. Seizures are very similar to concussions according to University of Auckland researcher Nigel Shaw. Seizures disturb the balanced tensegrity, of tension/compression existing in all tissue networks, especially the brain. Check out Donald Ingber’s article in Scientific American, from 1998 The Architecture of Life, on Tensegrity to get a feeling for the importance of basically how Nature uses shape sensing as a network of communication. Tensegrity understanding is critical in analyzing how a concussion disturbs the brain architecture.
Brain tissue does not like to be pulled, especially things connected to the vagal nerves. This is where our research comes in. Pulling on these critical zones finally gives us the opportunity for an in to the brain changes. In what way you may ask?
The vagal circuits control through our autonomic system, the pacing of our heart, the growth and resorption of our bones amongst many critical metabolic chores too numerous to detail at this point. The essence of working away from self reporting of a concussion diagnosis is something to catch, toward revealing a cause and effect, following a concussion.
Incredibly during lunch earlier in the summer, I was introduced to Clint Uttley, defensive Coach for the McGill Redmen Football Team by Track and Field Coach, Dennis Barrett. Clint mentioned something amazing, they were involved with a Kinesiology study for measuring bone density changes as part of the weight training protocols. We are looking for general bone thickness changes above and beyond the training effects, especially if a player has suffered a concussion or other injury during the playing season. We are especially curious about player profiles, like linemen. Do linemen with their constant head collisions experience minor concussive summing as seasonal affects progress?
We don’t know, but it is one way for us objectively to measure their constant head hits we think. We have to try right? Since we have no funding yet we get the Redmen data as preliminary data. This is the conundrum for our medical research, funding agencies  act like, show us preliminary data without any funding and then we’ll consider your request. Well, we shall do just that granting people!
I would ask you please to not mention this to anybody yet, we have to try to be so rigorous  to track any metabolic changes. I trust your integrity in this request for non disclosure.
We have submitted toward Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) funding, so far unsuccessfully for funding, we scored 3.57/5.0  We will resubmit next February. We are in the constant dilemma of new researchers trying to get novel funding as our take on Nature is not readily well received, which is always the case for truly ground breaking research, which appears to be our case. Remember the doctor, Dr Barry Marshall who said ulcers were caused by heliobacter bacteria? He was ridiculed by his colleagues. Marshall found the truth and his colleagues dismissed him as a quack, yet he won the Nobel prize in medicine in 2005.
What this also reveals itself I strongly believe is the potential for a new treatment option for concussions too, but first we have to get hard data, changes that means we are paying attention to the right network signals and go from there.
It would be of enormous help to our effort if you would consider endorsing our work. Your voice is such a clear voice in the world of hockey. Could you consider a campaign toward Head Smart-Brain Pull? I would love to explore this idea with you at some time.
If our take on concussions is correct we would have a appropriate corrective treatment for Sydney Crosby, plus all other people afflicted with this brain pull injury.
So to answer your GRANTLAND essay, yes there is hope right now as a clear idea swells here in Montreal. The time is ripe to explore how Nature really twists the brain. It’s time to catch the right signs, like always, great observations staring at you right in the face until you learn how to see them. The signs have been around since the dawn of evolution, yet it always takes time to catch Nature’s secrets. It took me 19 years plus ten thousand hours plus of reading, to begin to sense how to study concussion, so it’s veryexhilarating, so ennobling, so humbling when you do start to finally see what Nature is doing!
Best regards
Faculty of Dentistry
McGill University


About cerebrovortex

Montreal Grandmother, Agnes Kent was saved by Raul Wallenberg from certain death, when he provided papers for her and her Mom to escape away from the Nazis. Today when asked what that escape meant, she replied,"Remind people, that while statesmen and whole countries remained silent and did nothing, a single individual chose to act, with ramifications that proved enormous. Similar choices confront us today. Write that simple truth she said, it can never be repeated often enough because the world keeps forgetting it."
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