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Visual Difficulties in Children and Adolescents after Concussions and Other Physical Injuries

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Concussions and Mental Health

In recent years, there has been increasingly public attention regarding the prevalence of concussions among student athletes. For example, it has been reported that up to 30% of university athletes have sustained at least one concussion. Concussions are often associated with various symptoms, including attention and memory impairment, fatigue and sleep disturbance, and depressed mood. Although these symptoms can be debilitating, in most instances, they are fairly transient and the individual can return to sports within a few weeks. However, among some student athletes, these symptoms can persist for extended periods of time or can become even more pronounced. Currently, it is not clear why, following a concussion, some student athletes recover quite quickly while others do not. Therefore, our initial aim of this study is to examine whether history of concussions is related to various cognitive processes, such as attention and memory. As well, we would like to determine whether sustaining a concussion changes the way individuals cope with stress, and if these changes are predictive symptoms of depression and how long it takes someone to recover from a concussions.

Currently, it is not clear why, following a concussion, some student athletes recover quite quickly while others do not. Therefore, our initial aim of this study is to examine whether history of concussions is related to various cognitive processes, such as attention and memory. As well, we would like to determine whether sustaining a concussion changes the way individuals cope with stress, and if these changes are predictive symptoms of depression and how long it takes someone to recover from a concussions. The study takes about 30 minutes to complete, and consists of computer tasks (assessing executive functions) and questionnaires (assessing coping styles, flexibility, concussion history, and depression).

The following people are involved in this research project and may be contacted at any time if you have further questions about this project, what it means, or concerns about how it was conducted:

Kaylyn Dixon
Department of Neuroscience
Email: kaylyn_dixon@carleton.ca

Vicki Wong
Department of Neuroscience
Email: vicki_wong@carleton.ca

Dr. Matthew Holahan
Department of Neuroscience
Phone: 520-2600 ext. 1543
Email: matthew_holahan@carleton.ca

Dr. Taryn Taylor
Carleton University Sports Medicine Clinic
Phone: 613-520-3510
Email: taryn.taylor@carelton.ca


Ankle Sprain Rehabilitation through Innate Stability Training

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Subthreshold Exercise & Concussion Study

The Carleton Sport Medicine & Physiotherapy Clinic is looking for participants to take part in a study looking at the benefit of aerobic exercise in individuals suffering from post-concussion symptoms. Participants in the study will perform the Bruce protocol with their heart rate and concussion symptoms being monitored every minute. Their heart rate at which symptoms begin will be determined.  This is their symptom threshold heart rate.  Participants will be permitted to exercise on a stationary bike at 80% of the symptom threshold heart rate (Leddy et al. 2010).  Monthly evaluations on a treadmill will be performed to determine and maintain a safe and beneficial level of light aerobic activity which participants will perform on a regular basis at their convenience. The treadmill evaluation, as well as concussion assessment tools (SCAT3 and ImPACT), will be performed at a regular intervals until post-concussive symptoms have resolved. The goal of the study is to assess the benefits of aerobic activity in the progression of post-concussion syndrome, and to better inform health care professionals on the strategies for return to activity after a concussion, especially in patients with prolonged symptoms.

Inclusion criteria to participate in the study:

1)    An athletic individual actively participating in a sport 2 times/week at minimum with the goal of returning to activity.

2)    An athlete that has been assessed and diagnosed by a Sport & Exercise Medicine Physician for a concussion.

3)    An athlete between the ages of 18 and 55.

4)    An athlete suffering from concussion symptoms for at least 6 weeks, and continues to be symptomatic.

5)    An athlete that has access to a stationary bike for regular use.

To refer a patient for the study and to set up an initial appointment please call the Carleton Physiotherapy Clinic at 613-520-3511 and ask for a subthreshold testing initial appointment. If you have any questions regarding the study please feel free to email shiraschwartz at cmail dot carleton dot ca.

Recruitment Document- Subthreshold Concussion Study.