WVU Doctors Featured in ESPN The Magazine



MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Julian E. Bailes, M.D., and Michael W. Parsons, Ph.D., from West Virginia University are featured in the January 15th edition of ESPN The Magazine. The article, titled, “Brainball,” examines the way in which an athlete’s brain functions amidst action-packed sporting events.

In addition to a player’s experience and genetics, Dr. Bailes says that attitude also influences the way a player’s brain operates on the field. Bailes, who heads the Department of Neurosurgery at the WVU Robert C. Byrd Health Sciences Center and is a former physician for the Pittsburgh Steelers, has served as the neurological consultant to the NFL Players' Association since 1993.

Dr. Parsons, an associate professor of behavioral medicine, is featured in the article for his research on the fMRI machine. While a patient inside the fMRI machine memorized and typed a series of letters, Dr. Parsons determined that yellow and red blotches on a patient’s MRI scan signified the brain was completing a task, and blue areas showed the patient storing information in the brain. This illustrates the process of repetition in the brain, which eventually leads to a person’s visualization of action without acting. Examining how quickly the brain learns could have a great impact upon drafting decisions in the world of sports, Parsons says.

West Virginia University Hospitals has been designated as a “Center of Excellence” by NeuroSource Inc., a national consulting firm that assists hospitals in evaluating and improving their neurology and neurosurgery programs.

WVU neurosurgeons provide advanced care to adults and children with disorders of the brain, carotid and vertebral arteries, pituitary gland, spine and spinal cord, cranial and spinal nerves, and autonomic nervous system. Expert treatment is given for spinal degenerative disease, epilepsy, herniated discs, spinal stenosis, neoplasms, and trauma.


- WVU -

For more information:
Steve Bovino, HSC News Service, (304) 293-7087

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