MINNEAPOLIS, June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) and the American Brain Foundation have named Ben Utecht, former NFL tight end and Super Bowl champion with the Indianapolis Colts, as their national spokesperson. Utecht's role includes raising awareness of sports concussion and the need to support research into cures for brain diseases such as concussion. Utecht, who in 2009 experienced a career-ending traumatic brain injury, has been instrumental in promoting the Academy's guideline recommendations for how to diagnose and treat sports concussion, most recently during his testimony this week before the U.S. Senate: Special Committee on Aging.
After experiencing his career-ending traumatic brain injury (TBI) while playing for the Cincinnati Bengals, Utecht embarked on a career as a recording artist and motivational speaker.
"It is an incredible honor to be named a spokesperson for the American Academy of Neurology, the world's largest professional association of neurologists, and its foundation, the American Brain Foundation," said Utecht. "Together, they are committed to raising awareness about concussion and the need to support more research to advance our understanding of concussion, possible treatments, and eventual cures. My life has been impacted by traumatic brain injury and brain disease, challenging me and my family constantly. Brain disease threatens to steal from us what makes us human, and I will fight relentlessly to see that through research we can in fact find the origins of healing through the cures that are waiting to be discovered."
This past April Utecht received the 2014 Public Leadership in Neurology Award from the AAN and the American Brain Foundation, joining past esteemed recipients such as Michael J. Fox, Kevin Sorbo, Julie Andrews, and other celebrities dedicated to helping the world understand the crucial need to support brain research.
Utecht lives in Minnesota with his wife, Karyn, and their three daughters.
For more information about concussion and brain injury, visit https://www.aan.com/concussion.
Please also download the AAN's newly redesigned mobile app, Concussion Quick Check, designed to help coaches and athletic trainers quickly recognize the signs of concussion.
The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 28,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as brain injury, Alzheimer's disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.
The American Brain Foundation, the foundation of the American Academy of Neurology, supports crucial research and education to discover causes, improved treatments, and cures for brain and other nervous system diseases.
SOURCE American Academy of Neurology