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Concussions, their effect, and return to play, topic of Science in Society Series talk
Okanagan College Media Release

When is it safe for an athlete to return to play following a concussion? In recent years, concussions resulting from sports activity have gained the attention of sports enthusiasts and scientists alike.Dr. Paul van Donkelaar Feb 2015

On Wednesday Feb. 18 clinical neuroscientist Dr. Paul van Donkelaar will present a talk as part of the Science in Society Series entitled ‘How can science guide the management of sport-related concussions?’.  The public event is jointly hosted by Okanagan College and the Okanagan Science Centre and will be held at the Okanagan College’s Vernon campus lecture theatre at 7:30 p.m. 

“The big question is ‘how do you know if an athlete who has suffered a concussion is truly fit to return to play?’,” says Dr. van Donkelaar, professor and Director of the School of Health and Exercise Sciences at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. “They may feel fine, their symptoms may be gone, yet there could be undetected damage to the brain. Further, the risk of multiple concussions could potentially lead to long-term disability or even premature death.”

In his research van Donkelaar and his team study how a concussion affects blood flow to the brain, and how that affects concentration, balance, and attention span. The presentation will highlight key discoveries in changes to the brain as a result of a sports-related concussion and how this knowledge will lead to improved initial diagnosis, care, and return to activity decisions.

Admission to the event is $7 in advance or $10 at the door. For advanced tickets, please call the Okanagan Science Centre at (250) 545-3644. Visit for more information 

The Science in Society Speaker Series is sponsored by the Best Western Vernon Lodge, Starbucks Coffee, Cooper’s Food, and the Vernon Morning Star.