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Acquired brain injury in children and youth the focus of #Nanaimo seminar

November 18th, 2016 | Posted by vimhsadmin in people first media

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pfr-banner-post-1Nanaimo Brain Injury Society hosted experts in the field of acquired brain injury assessment, diagnosis, symptom management and return to play/academics, at a public seminar

The Nanaimo Brain Injury Society held a public seminar on October 14, 2016, with a focus on acquired brain injury in children and youth. The community-based nonprofit group invited Dr. Brian Christie, a neuroscientist and professor from the University of Victoria, and Dr. Jacqueline Purtzki, a pediatrician and assistant professor at University of British Columbia, to speak. They were joined in a panel discussion by Mary Stasiuk, the access specialist in disability services at Vancouver Island University.

People First Radio was at the seminar, and we’ve prepared several podcasts from the presentations. (Note: The audio quality is reduced due to conditions at the seminar site; however, the content is both valuable and understandable.)


Heads UpDr. Brian Christie speaks about concussions (what they are, the incidence of concussions in B.C., diagnosis of concussion in adults and children, concussion assessment tools, management of symptoms, return to play/academics, and new vistas in concussion assessment and treatment). Listen below.

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Pediatric Concussion UpdateDr. Jacqueline Purtzki provides an update of our current understanding of pediatric and adolescent concussions, discusses the background of current pediatric ‘return to sport’ guidelines, and shares information about symptoms management, rehab strategies, return to learn and return to sports.

Audio to come.


Q and A (Mary Stasiuk)Mary Stasiuk answers questions about assisting Vancouver Island University students to identify daily functional barriers to learning in order to access post-secondary care. Listen below.

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14682201_977703155686032_3414900508048978473_oDr. Jacqueline Purtzki, Mary Stasiuk, and Dr. Brian Christie participate in a panel discussion
at the Nanaimo Brain Injury Society’s October 14, 2016 seminar Acquired Brain Injury in Children and Youth.

About Dr. Brian R. Christie

Brian R. Christie is a Professor of Medicine and Neuroscience at The University of Victoria. He is the Director of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Victoria and a Michael Smith Senior Scholar Award winner. His current research concentrates on how exercise generates new brain cells in people with Alzheimer’s Disease, stroke, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), particularly in the hippocampus. Dr. Christie has more recently been involved in mild traumatic brain injury research at the University of Victoria and is the principal investigator for the Victoria site of a CIHR funded cross-Canada pediatric concussion study (primary investigator: Dr. Isabelle Gagnon).

About Dr. Jacqueline Purtzki

Dr Jacqueline Purtzki is a Royal College certified specialist in the area of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and completed further subspecialty training in pediatric rehabilitation. She currently works at the GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, Vancouver, in the Adolescent and Young Adult Service. She also practices at the Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children, part of BCCH, in the area of pediatric brain injury and neuromotor rehabilitation.

Her special interests are in pediatric rehabilitation of brain injury, neuromotor and musculoskeletal conditions, spasticity management and transition of adolescents and young adults with developmental disabilities. Additionally she has a private EMG practice.

She is currently an Assistant Professor with the department of Pediatrics at BC Children’s Hospital and with the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. She is a member of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the American Academy of Cerebral Palsy and Developmental Medicine and the International Brain Injury Association.

About Mary Stasiuk

Mary Stasiuk is a registered social worker with 9 years experience in post-secondary education. In her role as an Access Specialist in Disability Services at Vancouver Island University, she assists students to identify their daily functional barriers to learning in order to access post-secondary education.

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