KGUN 9 On Your SideNews

Actions

New way to conquer concussions in Tucson

Posted: 6:17 PM, Mar 29, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-30 01:27:10Z
New way to conquer concussions in Tucson
New way to conquer concussions in Tucson
New way to conquer concussions in Tucson
New way to conquer concussions in Tucson
New way to conquer concussions in Tucson
New way to conquer concussions in Tucson
A bump, a blow, a jolt to the head can cause a concussion.     
 
Studies show 15 to 20 percent of all athletes playing contact sports will have a concussion in one year. 
 
The CDC's Heads-Up Report" states that many concussed patients remain undiagnosed or never receive any form of treatment. In almost half of concussion cases, the patient is allowed to return to the sport too soon and experiences prolonged disability and recovery.
 
"They really don't understand what it is. They really don't understand the risk of going back into the game," said Dr. Hirsch Handmaker. 
 
And an attack -- a domestic assault  -- can cause severe brain injury as was the case with Catherine Brubaker. "Immediately afterwards I was unable to walk speak. I was unable to think clearly," she said.
 
A year and a half later, Brubaker suffered another blow to the brain in a head-on car crash.
 
Her recovery each time became a challenge, not only mentally and physically, "I remember what it was like to drive all over town and to have hours and hours of appointments. And to have all the physicians in different locations and the challenges of communication -- going back and forth and nobody being on the same page," she said.
 
So scheduling specialists on the same day all under one roof is the mission of the Tucson Concussion Center. It's a first of its kind business in Arizona. A grand opening ceremony was held at the new east side center at 5199 E. Farness Drive.
 
The CDC's Heads-Up Report" states that many concussed patients remain undiagnosed or never receive any form of treatment. In almost half of concussion cases, the patient is allowed to return to sport or school too soon and experiences prolonged disability and recovery.
 
The center contains state of the art equipment to test brain functions, body movement, vision and more.
 
The facility has a neuro-optometrist, a neuropsychologist, a vestibular therapist, a physical therapist and a family medicine physician who is specifically trained in sports medicine.
 
The center will compile data to learn more about concussions.
 
The center offers free baseline testing, which can save families a few hundred dollars.
 
Brubaker is behind a project to highlight the challenges of brain injury and overcoming obstacles. She's cycling nearly 5400 miles -- from sea to sea -- this summer. You can find out more at http://hopefortrauma.org