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August 28/06 11:12 am - Participants Needed for Study on Concussions in Athletes

Posted by Editoress on 08/28/06

Request for Participants in Concussion Management Program
Courtesy Heather Parrott

At this time, there is no finite method for diagnosing or treating concussions. Upon hospital admittance or a visit to the doctor's office, concussed athletes are usually told take one to two weeks off and then try returning to play. Perhaps this period of recovery is too long. Or, perhaps one to two weeks is insufficient. For an athlete, an unnecessarily prolonged recovery period may mean missing important competitions, or too short of a recovery period may mean the end of a career.

Current research indicates the effects of a concussion, on athletes' physiological and psychological health, may linger more than once thought. Additionally, although the signs and symptoms may go undetected by athletes, they have the potential to be detrimental to his or her performance if a full recovery has not been made. Beyond the more notable symptoms such as headache and nausea, sustaining a concussion may also bring on depression, memory problems, and an inability to focus on the training or race.

The University College of the Fraser Valley, is conducting an innovative concussion management program. Currently the program is seeking male athlete participants, between the ages of 17 and 23. Please note, testing will be open to a broader range of participants very soon. Held in Abbotsford, the testing period is 1-1.25hrs in duration per athlete, and consists of completing ImPACT testing, a neuropsychological battery of tests used in the NFL and NHL, balance testing, and a pre and post-exercise electroencephalogram test. The exercise component involves a 15 min ramped protocol on the cycle ergometer. The results of the testing are valid for 2 years, and at any time during the two year period should one of the athletes sustain a concussion, the university would perform the same testing as well as a supervised management phase to assist the athlete in returning to play safely.

Athletes who would like to be tested will need to be able to travel to the University College of the Fraser Valley, located in Abbotsford BC, for a testing session between now and mid September. Please contact Dr. Michael Gaetz for more information


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