The World’s First Peer-Review Medical Journal with a Primary Focus on Concussion

Dustin.Fink Dustin Fink

Concussion information is moving at a warp speed, it seems, compared to the long history of other medical issues that we face and hear about – cancer, heart disease, diabetes, etc.  In fact, concussion is not an acknowledged speciality of the medical field, yet there are more and more monies and time being devoted to this current issue.

It was only a matter of time before some smart people figured out a way to create a journal dedicated to concussion.

Current Research: Concussion has been published and fits this bill, to a “t”.  This peer-reviewed journal is being published by Canadian publishing house Pulsus Group Inc., who has published other journals such as: Current Research: Internal Medicine, Current Research: Cardiology, Pain Research Management, Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology Hepatology, and more.

Full disclosure, I have known about this journal for some time and have been chomping at the bit to let all of you know about this possible resource and place of publication for concussions.  Alas, since I have been included in the publishing (more on this later) I was not allowed to divulge this information until now.

What makes this publication so interesting is not only the emergence of a tailored journal for concussion but that the online content is open access.  Anyone and everyone can read this information; from the usual suspects of academia and research to the mom’s and dad’s who care to garner more evidence-based technical education.

Although the publishing and brain-child of the journal hail from Canada the editorial board is rife with very prominent figures, north and south of the border: 

  • Julian E Bailes (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
  • Vincenzo S Basile (Richmond Hill, Ontario)
  • Robert Cantu (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)
  • William M Erwin (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Mario Masellis (Toronto, Ontario)
  • Eric M Massicotte (Toronto, Ontario)
  • James Meschino (Woodbridge, Ontario)
  • Elizabeth Pieroth (Chicago, Illinois, USA)
  • Vladislav Toronov (Toronto, Ontario)
  • David Wright (Mission Viejo, California, USA)

Certainly there will be some who consider individuals on this list as “non-independent” thinkers who have agendas to maintain (will be interested to see in the comments of this post), however for the most part this is a unique group who is well qualified to referee any research pointed at concussion.  There is a lot of credit due to the Editor-In-Chief, Neilank Jha, for his due diligence in finding a great compilation for the maiden voyage of Current Research: Concussion.

I think Dr. Neilank Jha said it very well in his welcome for the journal, when describing what this is all about;

Our impetus for founding Current Research: Concussion was to bridge the gap between concussion awareness and knowledge. The Editorial Board will strive to provide a medium for researchers around the globe to share their work, and for practitioners to remain on the cutting edge of management.

There is a definite crevasse to be bridged when it comes to awareness and action (knowledge) AND the most important part of concussions, in my humble opinion, the management of the injury.  How often have you seen me type or say that the real issue is not the injury, rather the mismanagement of the injury.  I am hopeful that this journal will start to raise a keen eye onto this area.

You can certainly have a person or persons with passion enough to want to publish a journal, but what you must have is a publishing house, with some experience and clout to make this dream come true.  That is where the Pulsis Group fits in, Robert B. Kalina the publisher explains why they made a decision to create this journal;

Why would we choose to launch a journal on concussion when it is not a recognized medical specialty and there is not a specific medical society focused solely on concussion? The question is valid and the answer is simple – because it is important, it is timely, and we have teamed with an enthusiastic and highly qualified individual to lead the editorial side of this new endeavour, the Editor-in-Chief, Dr Neilank Jha.

This is where I fit in, not only as a blog writer, but as an allied health care professional that has unique qualification and understanding of concussions.  You see, Dr. Jha is beyond enthusiastic about this topic, he is motivated and passionate; so much so that he sought me out and asked what I thought about this project, during its infancy.  By seeking me out, I mean cold calling me then making a long drive from Chicago during his business trip to meet with me and my family, in person.

Who does that?

Who drives to the sticks of Illinois to sit down with some guy – for all he knows sits in his underwear and types on a computer – to discuss a very important issue?

Dr. Neilank Jha does!

Not only was I flattered that a busy and well-respected neurosurgeon (from Canada) sought me out, asked a few questions, and drove to my home; I was hooked on where his vision was leading to.  I wanted to help out in any small way I could.  Paying for my children to have frozen yogurt so we could discuss things is an easy way for me to write a post about you, ha!  But is was much more than that, he asked me to provide commentary about his/this journal.  It was not that he thought I was a good resource, he expressed that my independent voice would be one that others may gravitate to when learning about concussion (I honestly don’t know where he comes up with his stuff).  Dr. Jha asked if I would be interested in writing a reoccurring commentary in the journal focused on the published material within the pages.

Naturally my first instinct was one of skepticism, after all I do rather cherish my independent view and writing.  Dr. Jha calmed my fears and expressed that he wanted the real Fink to write, not academia Dustin to write.  It sounded almost too good to be true, but during this process he kept reassuring me that I had “free reign” to write what I felt, making sure that my words would not only help the layman understand the contents of the journal better but to keep people on their toes about research.

I put him to the test when I submitted my first commentary for the premiere volume.  I was fully expecting it to be hacked into a “journal-esque” shell of what I was tasked to do (in this volume I am asked to tell who I am and why I am doing this).  When it was returned to review to me there were only grammatical (a lot) changes and syntax changes.  The content and point of view remained unchanged.  You can view it HERE.

There are a lot of things to really like about this endeavor but the most refreshing thing to me is the new approach to concussion from a research angle.  It also helps that the editor-in-chief and publisher are not afraid to take risks and work outside of the box.

Where this journal stands in 20, 50, 100 years is unknown to all of us – I certainly hope it becomes the ultimate resource – but for now it is fresh and new.  Take some time and look into then submit your research to the world’s first peer-review medical journal with a primary focus on concussion.