Associate Professor of Neurology

Director, Sports Neurology and Concussion Program

UT Southwestern Medical Center

Dallas, Texas

Sideline Neurotrauma Expertise

In 2012, the National Football League addressed growing concerns over the identification and management of concussion by adding unaffiliated neurotrauma consultants (UNCs) to the sideline of every game.  I was honored to be able to provide similar coverage to the sideline of Arizona State University Football and Women's Soccer in collaboration with Javier Cardenas of the Barrow Neurologic Institute and Barrow Concussion Network.


Sports neurologists are frequently also trained to be UNCs and are specially trained to identify subtle neurologic abnormalities that may evade detection.  Sports neurologists are also able to render opinions on an athlete's need to be removed from play and fitness for return to play.


Because every athlete, sport, playing position, and situation are unique, sports neurologists make individualized assessments and decisions with athlete safety at the forefront.

The Emerging Specialty of Sports Neurology

@BertVargas

Sports Neurology represents a neurological discipline with a focus on sports medicine issues including:

  • The study and management of sports-related neurological injuries that may develop as a result of participation in athletic activities
  • The safe participation in sports and athletics by individuals with neurological conditions
  • The understanding of neuropsychological sequelae of sports injury and its impact on performance and daily living
  • The understanding of the  neurological benefit that occurs as a result of exercise, including the neurophysiology of peak performance in sport

​Community Education and Outreach

Although there is no way to fully eliminate the risk of concussion with any activity, primary prevention and education are important to help minimize risk, identify athletes with symptoms concerning for concussion, and direct an appropriate plan of care and rehabilitation.


Although coaches, parents, and athletes of all ages should be educated on concussion signs, symptoms, and risks of premature return to play, no one should be made to fear healthy and active lifestyles. 


Please contact me if your organization is in need of concussion education or if there is any way that my UT Southwestern Colleagues and I can be of service.

Read the Strategic Plan for the Sports Neurology Section of the American Academy of Neurology