The Brain Injury Association of Louisiana opened its two-day conference Thursday in Bossier City, attracting more than 100 survivors, caregivers, and medical experts.
The opening day presentations will focus on brain and spinal cord injury survivor stories, along with demonstrations of the latest assistive technology, according to association executive director Tommy Lotz. He says there is much to discuss about how the brain reacts to an injury, and he wants to convey that there’s room for optimism after tragedy.
“For survivors and their caretakers and family members, we really want them to realize there is hope, and that’s one of the reasons why we have several people speaking from more of an inspirational perspective. There is a way to really improve their quality of life," Lotz said, from his office in New Orleans.
This is the first time that the decade-old organization has held its conference in Shreveport-Bossier. Physicians and researchers from Louisiana, Florida and Mississippi are set to present. Lotz says the public is welcome, especially for talks by the ThinkFirst Foundation that advocates for using protective head gear in athletic events and will address how to prevent sports concussions.
“Most people are, rightfully so, looking mainly at football. They would be surprised -- or maybe not surprised -- to realize that a lot of the injuries actually are in sports like soccer, lacrosse, and basketball where you don’t have a helmet protecting your head," Lotz said.
A schedule of events is at the Brain Injury Association of Louisiana website. The conference takes place at the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites in Bossier City.