Keeping Your Head In The Game

September 22, 2018

The Marshall Sports Medicine Institute is on the leading edge of concussion prevention and management.

The tragic consequences of concussions among professional athletes have been making headlines in recent years. However, as media attention on concussions has escalated, the risks and dangers remain the same — not only for professional and collegiate athletes, but for children and recreational athletes as well.

Although there may be no visible signs of a concussion, they can cause cognitive, physical and emotional symptoms, including confusion, vomiting, headache, nausea, depression, disturbed sleep, moodiness and amnesia. However, even when the symptoms of a concussion disappear, the brain is still not 100 percent normal. These brain injuries can have significant consequences in both the short and long-term, including problems with memory and communication, personality changes and even death.

The certified athletic trainers of the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute conduct pre-season baseline concussion testing for athletes to assess their balance and brain function, including memory skills, problem-solving abilities and ability to concentrate. And when an athlete of any age suffers a concussion, the institute utilizes state-of-the-art concussion assessment tools, such as the widely used ImPACT® test and a new iPad-based testing system by C3 Logix. Part of the research component of the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute includes evaluating the effectiveness of the ImPACT test versus the C3 Logix system, which combines neurocognitive exams with balance and vision tests, potentially providing a more comprehensive assessment.

“First, we’re trying to do the right thing for our athletes,” said Tom Belmaggio, MS, ATC, CSCS, director of sports medicine at Marshall University, who oversees the concussion testing and research at the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute. Second, we’re trying to gather as much information as possible to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to concussions. The technology has changed drastically in the last 10 years and continues to change. When we find equipment, technology or techniques that can better identify the aftereffects of a concussion, reduce concussion symptoms or stop concussions from happening in the first place, we’re going to update our methods immediately to help our athletes.”

Possible signs and symptoms of a concussion

Although there may be no visible signs of concussions, they can cause cognitive, physical and emotional symptoms such as:

• confusion

• headache

• vomiting

• nausea

• depression

• disturbed sleep

• moodiness

• amnesia

Free Sports Medicine Screening Clinics for All Ages

A free sports medicine screening clinic is conducted each Saturday*, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Marshall Sports Medicine Institute. The clinic is open to the active, health conscious and athletic population of all ages with sports injury concerns, including runners, golfers, tennis players and youth, scholastic and recreational athletes.

Call 304.691.1880 for more information.

* Free screening clinics will be provided every Saturday from August 18, 2018 - May 11, 2019 (except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s and Easter weeks).

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