Every year, more than 300,000 student-athletes sustain sports-related head injuries. With the fall sports season just around the corner, this is a startling statistic for parents who worry about the devastating effects concussions can have on their children.
Now, a Web-based cognitive assessment tool is available to parents and their athletes through www.axonsports.com. The Axon Sports CCAT is a breakthrough testing system that measures attention, working memory, speed and accuracy of thinking. With the Axon Sports CCAT, an athlete can complete a Baseline test to establish a benchmark of current cognitive function. The test can be repeated after an injury to identify changes in the athlete's cognitive performance.
"Physical symptoms of a concussion typically improve within five to seven days of the injury; however, the ability to recognize changes in cognition is difficult and often only determined with cognitive testing," said Dr. James Moriarity, Head Team Physician at the University of Notre Dame, who has used cognitive testing with Notre Dame athletes for more than 10 years. "That is why Baseline testing is so important. It provides a comparison tool to determine when or if cognitive levels have returned."
For the most accurate results, Baseline tests should be completed before the first contact practice of the year. Both Baseline and After Injury test data is valuable for doctors to consider while determining when or if an athlete is ready to return to the classroom and playing field.
"Concussions are a serious issue facing parents of student-athletes," said Polly James, President and CEO, Axon Sports. "That's why we recommend Baseline testing for every athlete every year. In addition to completing a sports physical and purchasing new protective gear, a Baseline test should be part of every athlete's preseason preparation."
The Axon Sports CCAT allows parents to collect data that they can share with their child's doctor to facilitate a safe return to the classroom and field in the event that their child suffers a head injury. The product is intuitive and offers the following features:
- Users can create and store an online profile for each child or athlete.
- The tests use playing cards, a common item that allows the test to cross language and educational thresholds with ease.
- Tests can be taken anywhere the athlete has access to an online computer (PC or Mac) with a modern browser. Supervision by a responsible adult who can ensure optimal conditions (an environment free of distractions) and that the athlete is putting forth an honest effort is all that is required.
- Repeated testing will not generate a practice effect and has no bearing on test results.
- Each test takes, on average, no longer than 15 minutes to complete.
The Axon Sports CCAT is available for purchase at axonsports.com. Prices begin at $7.50 each for the individual Baseline and After Injury tests. Volume pricing is also available.