UofL Physicians – Neurosports is a comprehensive, collaborative effort aimed at addressing the neurological concerns of athletes. One of just a handful of such programs in the country, we are dedicated to preventing and treating neurological sports injuries and managing neurological conditions that can affect performance. These may involve the brain, spinal cord, muscles or nerves. We see athletes across the spectrum, from high school to college to the weekend warrior.
Led by neurologist Dr. Michael Haboubi, UofL Physicians – Neurosports is a multidisciplinary, collaborative effort that includes a headache specialist and doctors in neurology, sports medicine, family medicine and physical medicine and rehabilitation, among others. We believe this group of doctors working together is best for the patient. Dr. Haboubi has always had an interest in playing sports himself, and he is committed to keeping athletes healthy and performing at their best.
One area of focus for UofL Physicians – Neurosports is sports concussion, including research into the long-term effects. We also treat common neurological problems in athletes, such as peripheral nerve injuries, seizures, a history of migraines or sleep disorders. We help determine what sports are safe to play for someone who has such a neurological condition, and what medications are appropriate for their particular sport.
The program’s goals are:
- Treatment for the patient
- Research to help advance the science
- Education on concussion and neurological conditions for athletes and their families, coaches and other health care providers
As researchers and teachers at the University of Louisville School of Medicine, we have a passion for and commitment to developing new treatments and cures. In addition to concussion, some of our areas of research are injury prevention and optimal training for athletes.
Diseases & Conditions
Concussions, while a type of traumatic brain injury, are common. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year. According to the American Academy of Neurology, up to 1 million athletes a year suffer a concussion. Most people fully recover from a concussion. But all concussions are serious, and for some, the effects might last weeks, months or even longer. The AAN has noted that choices made immediately following a concussion can have long-term, even life or death, consequences and affect whether an injured athlete will recover and return to play.
Some of the other conditions we treat are:
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). CTE is a degenerative condition many doctors say is caused by head trauma and linked to depression and dementia.
- Peripheral nerve injury
- Spinal cord injury
- Other neurological injuries
We also see athletes with:
- Head injuries
- Epilepsy and seizures
- Headaches, including migraines
- Peripheral neuropathy. A result of nerve damage, peripheral neuropathy often causes numbness and pain in the hands and feet.
- Sleep disorders, including narcolepsy and sleep apnea
Treatments & Services
The treatments and services at UofL Physicians – Neurosports are focused on the specific needs of athletes. While other centers may offer similar treatments, our center is designed for athletes. We work closely with the patient and their family, and when appropriate, we can consult with coaches and team physicians.
Some of the conditions we offer treatment for are:
We are dedicated to providing the best care and treatments for athletes who have suffered concussions, as well as researching the long-term effects. Our state-of-the-art treatment options, backed by academic research, help an athlete return to their sport safely, and as quickly as possible.
Concussions, while a type of traumatic brain injury, are common. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1.6 million to 3.8 million concussions occur each year. According to the American Academy of Neurology, up to 1 million athletes a year suffer a concussion.
Most people fully recover from a concussion. But all concussions are serious, and for some, the effects might last weeks, months or even longer. In the past, the seriousness of concussions was not fully understood, and many athletes would try to just “shake it off.” The American Academy of Neurology has now noted that choices made immediately following a concussion can have long-term, even life or death, consequences and affect whether an injured athlete will recover and return to play.
Epilepsy is diagnosed in 125,000 Americans each year. Finding the experts required to address the condition can be frustrating, especially in athletes. With epilepsy, the normal pattern of neuronal activity becomes disturbed, causing strange sensations, emotions and behavior or sometimes convulsions, muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.
Even mild seizures may require treatment because they can be dangerous during activities such as swimming. Treatment, which generally includes medications and sometimes surgery, usually eliminates or reduces the frequency and intensity of seizures.
Our team of specialists, including epileptologists, neurosurgeons, neuroradiologists, nurses and EEG technologists, are committed to providing the best possible care and advice for athletes with epilepsy. We take into consideration age and sport to address a treatment that is the most effective for the patient. Education is the key to treating this condition, and our experts invest the time required to assist the patient and their family in fully understanding the recommended treatment.
Some of our services for athletes with epilepsy include:
- Precise diagnosis of epilepsy syndromes and seizure types
- Expert EEG interpretation
- Inpatient epilepsy monitoring
- Expert medication management
- Epilepsy surgery
- Vagus nerve stimulation
- Investigational treatments
Headaches can range from minor episodes that last a few minutes to intense migraines that may be debilitating, especially for athletes. The program includes the expertise of neurologists, psychologists and psychiatrists, neurosurgeons and pain management doctors, among others, to fully treat the disorder and associated conditions.
There is a need for more education about concussion and its effects. As part of our mission, we offer concussion and other neurosports education to athletes and their families, coaches and other health care providers. Please contact our office for more information.
UofL Physicians participates in most major health plans in Kentucky. Coverage may vary by specialty. Coverage limitations are dependent on the terms of your personal health plan. This is not a guarantee that all services you receive will be covered by your health plan. Review your health plan provider directory and/or consult with your plan to confirm coverage.