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Published on January 09, 2018

Neurologist Evaluates NFL Players as Part of Concussion Settlement

Larry C. Hollenbeck, MD, FAAN, a neurologist with Meritas Health Neurology, is one of two neurologists in the area and the only one in the Northland selected to evaluate players as part of the National Football League’s concussion injury class action settlement. He began seeing former NFL players in September 2017.

For Dr. Hollenbeck, it’s not about treating high-profile football players, but rather caring for men who are at a crossroads. “These patients come in for an evaluation just like any other patient. We don’t receive any added compensation,” Dr. Hollenbeck said. “They are cognitively impaired, and they don’t know what to do. We try to be their advocate and help them where we can.”

The settlement requires Dr. Hollenbeck to examine patients for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of nonspecific cognitive impairment. His office has received calls from players across the country.

To help determine the extent of a patient’s dementia, Dr. Hollenbeck uses reputable screening tools, including the Mini-Mental State Examination, Montreal Cognitive Assessment and Saint Louis University Mental Status Exam. These tools cover a range of questions. For example, the MMSE includes questions that ask the patient to state the year, season, date, day of the week and month; repeat a phrase; write a sentence; describe an object and copy a picture. Based on cognitive testing results, the degree of impairment is defined as questionably significant, mild, moderate or severe. If needed, Dr. Hollenbeck refers patients for further neuropsychological testing approved by the NFL.

Larry C. Hollenbeck, MD, FAAN

Larry C Hollenbeck, MDDr. Hollenbeck earned his medical degree from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed his internal medicine internship at Saint Luke’s Hospital and neurology residency at the University of Kansas School of Medicine.