PLAY A SMARTER GAME A CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM RESOURCE

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1 PLAY A SMARTER GAME A CONCUSSION MANAGEMENT PROGRAM RESOURCE

2 TM PLAY A SMARTER GAME Clinicians have long recognized that balance control, cognitive processing and a detailed review of a symptoms checklist are the keys to making safe return-to-play (RTP) decisions following a head injury. Why is Balance Important? Recent clinical research has conclusively shown that deficits in postural stability and balance control following a brain injury can be quantified and add an important element to a concussion management program. What does Play a Smarter Game Mean? It means knowing that your athletes not only know the game but also have the functional and cognitive abilities to maximize their safety and performance. A main factor is to ensure the athlete has the balance to match. The benefits of baseline assessments are: Objective data for safe play and return-to-play decisions A clear picture of what is normal for each athlete Improved athlete safety Greater understanding of balance issues that can be addressed in training The Rule of Three Best Practices for Concussion Program Management Current best practice recommendations from the NCAA and NATA regarding concussion management programs recommend utilizing a combination of three elements: a detailed review of symptoms, cognitive processing and balance assessments. According to Jacob Resch, PhD, ATC, at the University of Texas Arlington, when these assessments are delivered separately, each possesses 60-80% sensitivity. However, when delivered together, sensitivity is greater than 90%.* * Published in Journal of Athletic Training 2011; 46(2): ; Balance Performance With a Cognitive Task: A Continuation of the Dual-Task Testing Paradigm; Jacob E. Resch, PhD, ATC, et al.

3 THE RULE OF THREE: 1 SYMPTOMS CHECKLIST A traditional concussion assessment utilizes a symptoms checklist to subjectively assess the athlete. Checklist source: Sport Concussion Assessment Tool 2 (SCAT2) developed by a group of international experts at the 3rd International Consensus meeting on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, Switzerland, in November NEUROCOGNITIVE TESTING Tests designed to measure cognitive function Neurocognitive assessment measures/grades orientation, immediate memory, concentration, and delayed recall. NeuroCom balance assessment systems work in concert with any of the neurocognitive programs currently available, including: ImPACT, Axon Sports CCAT, CNS Vital Signs, CSMI SportsWare Concussion, Headminder, SAC, and SCAT2. 3 BALANCE ASSESSMENT Balance assessment is essential Postural stability and balance control are affected by brain injury, making balance assessment a vital component of a robust concussion management program. In response to the growing awareness of this important public health issue, NeuroCom has developed the new VSR SPORT to meet the specific needs of athletic programs looking to enhance athlete safety. It includes NeuroCom s newest protocol, the Stability Evaluation Test (SET), which provides a computerized measurement of postural sway velocity, so important to an athlete s functional performance. The VSR SPORT also features an athletic reference database, which is especially valuable when an athlete s baseline assessment isn t available. VSR SPORT

4 THE RULE OF THREE GAME PLAN Educational Materials NeuroCom has developed a series of educational materials for our customers to utilize for developing a much needed community service: offering baseline balance clinics for their area high schools, community teams, and area colleges and universities that may not yet have computerized balance assessment available. Preseason Baseline Assessments Nothing compares to the health and safety benefits derived from a preseason baseline assessment for anyone involved in athletic pursuits. These data provide objective information about a player s performance that will ultimately help clinicians make safe play and return-to-play decisions. In the area of balance specifically, NeuroCom s VSR SPORT is ideal for all athletic programs. Not only is VSR SPORT portable and easy-touse, it offers athletic trainers, sports medicine practitioners and other sports professionals the data essential for making objective, safe concussion management decisions. Ongoing Evaluation Utilizing NeuroCom s Rule of Three philosophy, the three essential assessments should be repeated on a concussed athlete as needed to ascertain the level of progress and help guide medical personnel in developing a safe and effective return-to-play (RTP) plan. Return-To-Play Decision Deciding when an athlete has fully recovered from a concussion and can safely return to play is a difficult challenge facing clinicians, athletic trainers and team physicians. The Rule of Three forms the cornerstone of concussion management until symptoms resolve and a graded program of exertion is followed prior to medical clearance and RTP. Using The Rule of Three best practice steps as guideposts in this process will help ensure that the health and safety of the athlete is maintained. Initial Concussion Evaluation NeuroCom s Rule of Three program should be utilized by all athletic departments. The new VSR SPORT from NeuroCom provides important objective data regarding impairments in the athlete s postural control whether on the sideline or in the training room.

5 BETTER DATA. BETTER DECISIONS. Benefits of The Rule of Three Program Easy integration and synergy between the symptoms checklist, all major computerized neurocognitive tests, and NeuroCom balance assessment systems Objective balance assessment using the VSR SPORT or other NeuroCom systems ensures that balance symptoms can t be hidden or under-reported Baseline assessment for each athlete provides a database for measuring performance progress based on his or her own capabilities. The VSR SPORT also provides an athlete reference database for comparison to peers Improve concussion care and make safer play and return-to-play decisions Objective assessment of the athlete s voluntary motor control of balance with visual biofeedback Reduce the possibility of second impact syndrome following concussion and subsequent permanent damage by utilizing The Rule of Three: symptoms, cognitive and balance assessments to make the most objective decision possible for returning an athlete to play

6 SELECTED SYSTEMS: NeuroCom offers a number of balance assessment systems that can be utilized in support of athletic programs concussion management and athletic performance efforts. VSR TM SPORT The VSR SPORT was designed specifically to meet the needs of athletic programs. It includes five protocols that accurately and objectively assess an athlete s functional balance control across a variety of athletic stances including the new Stability Evaluation Test (SET). In addition to providing guidance for concussion management, it can also help reduce athlete risk of orthopedic injury. SMART Balance Master / SMART EquiTest Playing a Smarter Game extends beyond the use of the VSR SPORT and the SET protocol. When your program is ready to move beyond the sidelines and training room, the NeuroCom SMART Balance Master and SMART EquiTest systems offer the world s highest level of balance and mobility assessment technology. The SMART EquiTest includes Computerized Dynamic Posturography (CDP), a highly-valued assessment protocol used to objectively quantify and differentiate among the wide variety of possible sensory, motor, and central adaptive impairments to balance control SE Lawnfield Road, Clackamas, OR phone: fax: playasmartergame.com SMART Balance Master, SMART EquiTest and VSR SPORT are registered trademarks of NeuroCom, a division of Natus covered by multiple patents in the U.S. and other countries All rights reserved. DOC

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