Social Care and Neurodisability

ISSN: 2042-0919

Article publication date: 6 May 2014


Jenkins, K.G. (2014), "Forum", Social Care and Neurodisability, Vol. 5 No. 2.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited


Article Type: Forum From: Social Care and Neurodisability, Volume 5, Issue 2.

Welcome to the Forum section of Social Care and Neurodisability, your opportunity to post responses to articles from previous issues and to raise awareness of forthcoming events, consultations, policy initiatives, etc. This edition of Forum has been compiled by Dr Keith Jenkins, who looks forward to your responses by e-mail or post.

Dr Keith G. Jenkins, CPsychol, CSci, AFBPsS, National Brain Injury Centre, St Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, NN1 5DG, Tel: +44 (0)1604 616767, E-mail:

Dementia Friends

David Cameron the Prime Minister is a Dementia Friend, are you? The Alzheimer's Society has launched the Dementia Friends initiative to raise awareness of people with dementia and to create communities that are supportive. The challenge is for each of us to seek to make a difference to the people living with dementia where we are. The aspiration is to have a million Dementia Friends across England by 2015, whilst there are already 800,000 people living with dementia. The financial cost of dementia is over £23 billion a year and there are 670,000 carers of people with dementia in the UK. To become a Dementia Friend you need to:

  • live in England or Wales;

  • be of any age;

  • attend a Dementia Friends’ information session close to where you live, lasting about one hour;

  • do something practical to help people living with dementia in your community; and

  • post your Dementia Friends action on the Dementia Friends web site.

Information about how you can become involved can be found on the internet at: Many of us will be touched by dementia, either directly or indirectly through a loved one. It makes sense to promote better understanding and to work with others to make practical contributions. One million Dementia Friends who all do something will make a very big difference.


The risks of concussion suffered in the context of sports activity are attracting increasing attention in the UK, with the major focus being upon Rugby Union. Initial awareness of the effects of repeated sports concussions was successfully promoted in the USA with campaigning around American Football that developed as a result of the plight of ex-players being highlighted by Chris Nowinski, a former Harvard defensive linesman. Dementia-like cognitive impairment and significant behaviour change, including suicide, were linked to a history of suffering repeated concussions. The documentary “Head Games” powerfully illustrates the evidence and the struggle for it to be acted upon by the American Football Authorities. The idea that boxers suffer brain damage as a result of their chosen sport has long been known, “dementia pugilistica”, but the finding that other sportsmen and women can also sustain brain damage as a consequence of the concussions suffered in their chosen field is much newer, and a new term now covers the full range of repeated concussion injuries, chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

The European concern for “Head Games” highlights the Rugby Football Union's pitch side concussion policy – (five minutes out of play). The International Rugby Board Medical Advisor, Barry O’Driscoll, resigned over the new policy stating that it puts the game in front of the players’ health. It is sadly also the case that many sporting coaches and players are not clear on what concussion is, with younger people reporting “seeing stars” on multiple occasions but not recognizing that this is a feature of concussion. We need to educate wherever we can to reduce the unnecessary brain injuries acquired whilst engaged in sports that are thought to be positive for health and fitness.

Find Head Games: The Global Concussion Crisis at:

Forthcoming events/announcements

22 May 2014, Kettering, UK. What Really Matters in Rehabilitation. Northamptonshire Acquired Brain Injury Forum 3rd Annual Conference, available at:

6-7 June 2014, Brighton. RIMS 2014: Rehabilitation in MS; supporting behaviour change, linking science to clinical practice, available at:

10 June 2014, Hyderabad, India. IFA 12th Global Conference on Ageing, available at:

10 June 2014, Glasgow. Society for Research in Rehabilitation Summer Meeting. Enriching Rehabilitation Through Technology and The Arts, e-mail:

11 June 2014, London. BISWG: The Power of Communication: Obstacles presented by Acquired Brain Injury and How to Overcome Them, available at:

3 July, London. BISWG: The Mental Capacity Act – Discussion led by Fiona Zinger, Social Worker, Regional Rehabilitation Unit, Northwick Park and Patti Simonson, Head of Social Work and Welfare Benefits Administration, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability.

5-9 July 2014, Milan, Italy. 9th Federation of European Neuroscience Societies (FENS) Forum of Neuroscience, available at:

For even more event details, see this World Federation for NeuroRehabilitation site:

4-7 September, Basel, Switzerland. The World Congress on NeuroTherapeutics (DDDN) Dilemmas, Debates & Discussions, available at:

16-18 September 2014, Valencia, Spain. 2nd International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia, available at:

22-24 September 2014, London. Introduction to Casting in Neurology Course, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London, available at:

22 October 2014, Istanbul, Turkey. 9th World Stroke Congress, available at:

10-14 November 2014, London. SMART Sensory Modality and Rehabilitation Technique (SMART), Five Day Accredited Assessors Course, Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability, London, available at:

4-7 December 2014, Nice, France. The 10th International Conference on Non-Motor Dysfunctions in Parkinson's Disease and Related Disorders, available at:

And finally

If you would like your event(s) featured, send an e-mail with details at least three months before the event to allow for publication lead times.

If you have any questions or opinions that you would like to share with the wider neurodisability community, why not send them in to Forum. I look forward to hearing from you.

Keith G. Jenkins