EDITOR'S NOTE – Welcome to the first edition of Equipped, a quarterly Axon Sports newsletter designed to provide news and insights to protect and train the athletic brain. We value your input and will gladly accept your stories and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In-Home Concussion Assessment Tool Empowers Parents of Student-Athletes
For many years college teams have used the Axon Sports' cognitive Baseline tests to help manage sports-related concussions. Now, Axon Sports is bringing this same test to all Athletes age 10 and older through an easy and convenient web site, axonsports.com. On the web site you’ll find educational resources that explain Baseline and After Injury tests. You’ll also find a wide range of topics surrounding their proper use within an overall concussion management program. Together with Athletes and their Parents, School Administrators, Athletic Trainers and Doctors, Axon Sports is on a mission to protect and train the athletic brain. To learn more or to preview a sample test, visit axonsports.com. Axon Sports officially launched in August with support from CogState Ltd, a publicly traded Australian technology company (cogstate.com), and Quixote Investment, a Portland, Ore.-based investment group.
Axon Sports Joins Play It Safe Concussion Care™ Solution
Wells Fargo Insurance Services’ Student Insurance Division recently announced that its Play It Safe Concussion Care™ Solution will use Axon Sports Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT) for its Baseline testing. Launched in 2009, the Play It Safe Concussion Care™ Solution is a broad concussion management treatment and insurance services solution for Athletes nationwide. Wells Fargo chose Axon Sports because of its unique approach to store Baseline and After Injury test results in the Athlete’s account. That way, if (or more likely when!) the Athlete changes teams, schools, doctors, or cities, the data is not left behind. The electronic record stays with the Athlete creating a cohesive picture, easily accessible and sharable at the Athlete’s discretion.
To learn more, contact John Breckenridge, 916-231-3403 or send an email.
Doctors, Athletic Trainers and Coaches: You’re going to love this!
Axon Sports new Functionality Saves Time and Organizes Groups
If you manage large groups of Athletes or Patients, now you can separate them into teams making it easier to organize, view and report. These new functions are simple to use, will reduce the amount of time you spend searching for Athletes or Patients within long lists, and will provide you with quick Baseline testing summaries for each of your teams or groups.
- Group My Athletes: Place Athletes into teams, or move them between teams, at the click of your mouse. Give each team a name that best fit your needs. Names can be as simple as Football or as complex as Jefferson Girls Varsity Soccer.
- Baseline Rosters: After you’ve grouped your Athletes, this automatic reporting tool will summarize the most recent Baseline activity for each Athlete by team. You’ll see their most recent test date and the test outcome. These reports can easily be printed, saved or emailed to associates.
You’ll also find a step-by-step guide in our Resource Center, “A Guide to Group My Athletes.”
Drs. Moriarity and McCrory Join Axon Sports
We’re proud to have two leaders in the area of sports-related concussions helping us share the Axon Sports' story and the importance of Baseline testing athletes. Dr. James Moriarity, head team physician at the University of Notre Dame, has more than 10 years of experience using computerized cognitive testing as a tool to help determine when it’s safe for Athletes to return to play. It’s a tenure matched by very few in American sports. His goal is to empower parents in supporting their children’s healthy competitive spirit and help keep them safe in their pursuits. You’ll find an authored article and short videos featuring a conversation with Dr. Moriarity on axonsports.com.
Dr. McCrory is a leading neurologist and sports physician whose research is concerned with prevention and management of common musculoskeletal and sports medical conditions. He has more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and 25 book chapters, and has been a keynote speaker at national and international medical conferences. Dr. McCrory’s goal is to help educate Athletes; and their Parents, Coaches, Trainers, Athletic Directors, and Doctors on concussion management best practices and guidelines. You’ll find his Concussion Management Guide, exclusively written for Axon Sports, in the resource center at axonsports.com
Ask the Expert
Why do we measure thinking to help manage a concussion?
Dr. Moriarity: “When an Athlete suffers a head injury it is possible that the result is an injury to the brain. Injury to the brain can be indicated by symptoms such as headaches, nausea, fainting and can be seen through changes in the ability of the Athlete to think quickly and accurately. While it is possible that the Athlete, the coaching and athletic training staff or family can notice the presence of some symptoms, changes in thinking ability are generally not obvious. It is important to note that changes in thinking ability can still be present even when other symptoms have gone. Most importantly, changes in thinking ability indicate that the brain has not recovered from the injury, and therefore the Athlete is not ready to return to play and may also be hindered in his/her classroom ability. A combination of Axon Sports' Baseline and After Injury test results is a helpful tool for Doctors to use in managing sports-related concussions as it indicates any change in cognition.”
No studying required!
The tasks that make up the Axon Sports tests were designed with kids in mind. They’re fast-paced, play to their competitive spirit, and don’t require studying.
“We know kids look forward to playing games,” said David Darby, CogState chief medical officer and co-creator of the Axon Sports CCAT with Dr. Paul Maruff, CogState chief science officer. “So, we strove to create a game-like test that was also brief, motivating, and universally appealing.”
The two found the answer in a common deck of French playing cards which offer the unique combination of fun, familiarity, and competition. Maruff originally tested the card ideas with Indonesian children while on vacation in Bali. He then spent time testing computerized card games in Northern Australia with Australian aborigines. They discovered that simple tests of cognition could be done visually. To move the test online, they added visual and audio feedback to help kids improve their performance.
“Even though it looks like a game and is fun for the test-taker, the tasks are based on sound and well-established science,” added Darby. The paradigms used are long-known psychological techniques regarding learning, memory, processing speed, and accuracy.
“The brain likes making sense of new things,” said Darby, “and kids get bored easily. Concealing and revealing cards allows for anticipation and curiosity – which both brains and kids thoroughly enjoy.”
Tips for successful test taking: Find an environment free from distractions, put away your cell phone, take a practice test, listen closely to the instructions, stay focused, relax and give it your best effort.
Sharing Your Test Results
Athletes, because we store Baseline and After Injury test results in your account, we’ve made it convenient for you to share your test results with your Parent or Guardian, Doctor, Coach, Athletic Trainer, and / or Athletic Director. After you’ve completed an acceptable Baseline test, here are three easy options to share your test results.
Log In to your Axon Sports account. Under the Share Results section in the Menu, type in the email address for the organization or individual you would like to share your results with. The organization or individual will receive an email from us notifying them of access to your test results.
Send an email and attach the electronic copy of your test results.
Log In to your Axon Sports account and select Test Results from the Menu. Select the test results that you would like to see and click the Report button. Print a copy of your test results and send it with an explanatory letter.