About this event

  • Date and time Thu 16 Jan 2020 from 8:30am to 17 Jan 2020 at 4:45pm
  • Location Royal Society of Medicine
  • Organised by Military Medicine, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

PLEASE NOTE: All delegates booked onto an overflow room will be watching a livestream of the main auditorium.

For security reasons, you must register both on the Royal Society of Medicine website and on the NATO website. Please click here to register on NATO.

The Science and Technology Organisation from NATO and the RSM Military Medicine section will bring together an international faculty of experts to give an update on the diagnosis and management of mild traumatic brain injury.

This meeting is free to attend.

Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), also known as concussion, is a significant military operational and civilian medical problem. This lecture series will review the state of medical knowledge and discuss medical treatment in the deployed as well as post-deployment settings. Participants will leave with increased ability to accurately diagnose mTBI/concussion and to treat patients appropriately.

The RLS will cover the following key topics and dimensions:

  • A description of existing clinical practice for all participating NATO countries;
  • Current TBI research;
  • Identification of existing gaps in knowledge;
  • Principles for best practices.

Specific topics to be addressed will include:

  • The potential impact of mTBI/PCS on Military Operations;
  • The significance of explosive blasts as a mechanism of injury;
  • Description of existing Clinical Practice Guidelines;
  • Key features of mTBI/post-concussion syndrome and the co-occurrence and overlap with other physiologic and/or mental health problems, such as PTSD.

The mission of STO is to conduct and promote co-operative research and information exchange. STO consists of a three level organization: the Science and Technology Board (STB), the Panels and the Technical Teams. The Human Factors and Medicine (HFM) Panel is one of the seven Panels under the STB.

The mission of the Human Factors and Medicine Panel is to provide the science and technology base for optimising safety, health, well being and performance of the human in operational environments with consideration of affordability. This involves understanding and ensuring the physical, physiological, psychological and cognitive compatibility among military personnel, technological systems, missions, and environments. This is accomplished by exchange of information, collaborative experiments and shared field trials.

Please note that no refreshments will be provided.

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View the programme 16 January 2020

Opening ceremony and STO overview and introduction

Capt Dr Jack Tsao, Chief, Naval Operations Capability & Assessments Branch, University of Tennessee Health Science Centre

Traumatic brain injury resulting from explosive blast wave propagation – A soldier’s perspective

MWO Mark Jones,  Canadian Armed Forces

Repetitive brain injury: lessons learned

MWO Mark Jones

Traumatic brain injury policies of NATO countries

Capt Dr Jack Tsao and MWO Mark Jones

Comfort break
Mild traumatic brain injury in UK personnel returning from Afghanistan and Iraq


Operational considerations, blast traumatic brain injury and neurocritical care

Capt Dr Jack Tsao, Col Dr Eric Vermetten, Leiden University Medical Centre, Netherlands Defence and Dr Mattias Skold, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute

Lunch break
Experimental research on mild traumatic brain injury

Dr Marten Risling, Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institute 

Acute evaluation and treatment

LCol Dr Markus Besemann, Chief of rehabilitation medicine, Canadian Forces Health Services Group, Col Alan Mistlin, Centre for Mental and Cognitive Health Defense Medical Rehabilitation Center and Capt Dr Jack Tsao

Comfort break
Role of neurocognitive testing

Capt Dr Jack Tsao and Col Dr Eric Vermetten

Close of day
View the programme 17 January 2020

Management of headache, sleep, endocrine disturbances, dizziness, and balance disequilibrium

LCol Dr Markus Besemann, Canadian Forces Health Services Group, Col Alan Mistlin, Centre for Mental and Cognitive Health Defense Medical Rehabilitation Center and Capt Dr Jack Tsao, Chief of Naval Operations Capability & Assessments Branch, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Comfort break
Progressive return to activity following mild traumatic brain injury

Col Alan Mistlin 

Treatment and rehabilitation of co-morbid polytrauma and psychiatric disturbances including post traumatic stress disorder

Col Alan Mistlin and Col Dr Eric Vermetten, Leiden University Medical Center 

Lunch break
Long-term consequences of head injury and occupational impairements

LCol Dr Markus Besemann and Capt Dr Jack Tsao

Comfort break
Impact on families

Col Alan Mistlin

Final case

LCol Dr Markus Besemann

Concluding remarks
Close of meeting


Royal Society of Medicine, 1 Wimpole St, Marylebone, London, W1G 0AE, United Kingdom