Research, Education, Programs, & WorkshopsWith your help, SEEING STARS FOUNDATION is able to provide valuable educational programs and workshops for young athletes, parents, coaches, trainers, and directors, as well as implementing programs for Baseline Testing, Athletic Trainers' sideline assistance, and Sports Equipment Replacement... In addition, the Foundation support and assist evidenced based research on Neuroimaging techniques, Neuropsychological testing, and management of concussion related symptoms; Protecting and helping young athletes to stay healthy must be of a high priority for everyone.
Research, Education, Awareness and Prevention on concussion
Assistance with Baseline Testing for pre/post-concussion evaluation
Acquiring top of the line Sports Equipment and Technology
Where Your Money Goes...
One of the major issues facing professional sports and trickled down to Youth Sports is the aforementioned warrior culture. The most effective way to change this sort of attitude is through education and awareness. This of course is one of the two most important goals of our foundation. We are continuing to facilitate a communication channel for experts, as well as injured, retired and active athletes to speak to young athletes about the dangers of not reporting concussion immediately when it occurs.
We are now working on producing educational and tutorial videos that will be posted on our website which brings people together to discuss their experiences with concussion, as well as a wealth of information on helping others to better able to detect and manage concussion amongst their peers, teammates, children, and friends.
Also, we are developing a national outreach program to train physicians, athletic trainers and other healthcare professionals on the diagnosis and management of sports related concussion.
Seeing Stars Foundation has implemented a series of workshops on both small and large scales to educate athletes, coaches, parents, directors, or anyone else who is interested in the do's and don'ts of concussion. Attendees learn about concussion assessment, management, and recovery, as well as how/where to get help and the type of assistance that is available to them. Some of the topics covered in the workshops include:
- How to recognize concussion in athletes.
- The need for the athlete to report a concussion immediately.
- How to perform and interpret a sideline evaluation.
- The short and long term effects of concussion.
- When and who makes the decision on the athletes return to play
- Physician and Athletic Trainers Networks, and Telemedecine programs available to players, coaches, and parents
Despite all the recent publicity in the media and subsequent congressional hearings there is little to no funding for sports related concussion education and research.
Work is currently underway and in the future we plan on supporting and developing clinical research programs geared towards understanding the mechanism and physiology of sports related concussion. As well as evidenced based research on Neuroimaging techniques Neuropsychological testing, and management of concussion related symptoms.
Cross-Over Studies (Sports / Military / Everyday Life)
One of the first projects undertaken by the Seeing Stars Foundation is to fund a multi-center research project to test a concussion specific neurological exam which has been designed by members of our medical board. Although the military currently uses the Military Acute Concussion Evaluation (MACE) which consists of standardized testing of cognition, neurologic functions including balance, and a symptom screen. And many professional and amateur sports organizations use the Sideline Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT 3). Neither has been validated. A validated neurological exam can then be applied to the sideline evaluation of concussed athletes and can be administered in the battlefield to a concussed soldier. It can also be used serially to return athletes and soldiers to play and battle.
Other possible crossover applications would include evidence based studies into the treatment of post traumatic headache, depression, vestibular dysfunction and longitudinal diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Initial Diffusion Tensor Imaging and Susceptibility Weighted Imaging studies have already shown evidence of nerve damage in 30-40 percent of service members who are symptomatic from a concussion. The military has begun initial studies where an image of the soldier’s brain is taken prior to deployment to create a baseline that can then be compared with an image after combat.
Another one of the initial projects of The Seeing Stars Foundation is the funding of a longitudinal diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging study, where an athlete is screened prior to the season and then followed if he or she experiences a concussion. This type of imaging is essentially objective, using numeric values which appear to change over time as the brain recovers. Our medical advisory board sees DTI MRI as “The” future objective measure for diagnosis and recovery from concussion. Along with the Department of Defense they also see parallels for application in the battlefield.
Some of the programs being implemented by the Seeing Stars Foundation:
• BASELINE TESTING
This is our proactive concussion management program, a Baseline test is administered to an athlete before the sports season begins (or when uninjured). Baseline testing, together with a pre-season evaluation, is an essential part of the concussion management process. When an athlete suffers a concussion, they will be tested to evaluate the severity of their brain injury based on a comparison with their original test before their injury. It should be noted that if an Athlete becomes concussed, they should seek appropriate medical attention to properly determine when the injured athlete has been fully recovered to be allowed to return to play.
• PHYSICIANS NETWORK
As part of its mission to improve sports concussion education and management, The Seeing Stars Foundation is currently compiling a network of physicians and/or centers who currently perform pre-season sports concussion evaluations and/or computerized testing. In addition, we are continuously looking for individuals to speak to local high schools and other amateur sports organizations on sports concussion. If you are a physician who specializes in sports related concussion and you are interested in becoming a member of our network, please click Here.
• ATHLETIC TRAINERS ASSISTANCE
The Seeing Stars Foundation want to see that all major sporting events for Youth Sports have Athletic Trainers who are trained in the field of sports related concussion to be present on the sideline to assist young athletes in case of an injury, particularly head trauma injuries. We are offering assistance in developing and implementing such programs and as well as establishing a network of qualified trainers all throughout the country.
• SPORTS EQUIPMENT REPLACEMENT
Professional Sports can afford to replace their equipment regularly. Also, professional athletes are often being bombarded by major athletic companies to endorse their brands and to try out their latest line of products. At times some of these companies also try to bid out each other in both the professional and Collegiate levels to have their brands represented exclusively with respective teams that continuously receive top-of-the-line equipment as one of the contract terms. Unfortunately, young players are sometimes left to use decade-old equipment that are often times ineffective or unsafe. The Seeing Stars Foundation "Sports Equipment Replacement" program works with partnering organization to provided young athletes with updated and safe equipment in order to be protected as well as the professional athletes.
Seeing Stars Foundation hold a series of fundraising events all throughout the year in order to raise much needed funds for research, workshops, and programs on concussion in Youth Sports. These fundraisers are usually organized mainly by the foundation or in conjunction with other organizations. In addition, we occasionally have individuals, groups, and other organizations that hold different fundraisers for Seeing Stars Foundation. Either a portion of their proceeds or the entire amount of money raised from the events is donated to our Foundation. As always, we greatly appreciate everyone's contribution on any/all levels, and we also would like to thank all of you who have participated in our events to support our cause.
Click Here for more information, if you would like to host a fundraiser for the Seeing Stars Foundation.
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