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SJRMC Seeks Participants for Sports Medicine Study

The Saint Joseph Sports Medicine Institute, in conjunction with Axon Sports, is inviting local youth to help with a study that will benefit children across the country. Volunteers between the ages of 5 and 18 are being sought in an effort to understand the maturational development of children on a web-based tool to help manage concussions in children.

At this time, there is no way to prevent concussions from occurring in sports-related activities. A concussion is a brain injury that is caused by traumatic force through contact with another player, equipment, or a physical structure such as a goal post or gym floor. One in ten young athletes will suffer a concussion this year. That number grows considering accidental head injuries to youngsters at normal play such as jungle gyms, swing sets, and bike riding.

Symptoms of concussions can include drowsiness, headache, nausea, and vomiting. The majority of people who suffer concussions do not lose consciousness. Symptoms may not appear until several hours or days after the injury. Close monitoring for neurological symptoms, and early medical evaluation and intervention is recommended.

“Most kids are fine after a concussion with medical management within a week or two, but any persistent symptoms should be evaluated sooner,” said Stephen Simons, MD, Director of the Sports Medicine Institute (SMI). “More information has evolved and health care experts know to take concussions more seriously and to be sure kids are symptom-free before returning to play.”

Dr. Simons is seeking young participants for the study that will take place at the SMI, located in the Medical Office Building at the SJRMC Mishawaka Campus.

“During the course of the study, a participant will take a ten-minute online test several times. This is not an intelligence test as it simply captures the brain’s speed, accuracy and memory,” Dr. Simons said.

The first test will be done at the SMI and then participants will take the test once per month at home. The study intends to evaluate young children’s test improvement over the course of one year. Participants will also be given Axon Sports baseline test vouchers for future their future use. Capturing this data will allow researchers to show ranges for normal performance for the different tasks in the Axon CCAT across childhood into young adulthood and allow for the development of percentile charts (i.e. charts similar to weight and height charts for kids). These types of charts will be helpful in distinguishing normal changes in thinking in children from changes in thinking that happen when a brain injury (e.g. a concussion) occurs.

Participation is free, but all volunteers must be between the ages of 5 and 18. For more information, please call (574) 335-6214.

About Axon Sports

Axon Sports provides the Axon Sports Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool (CCAT), as well as educational resources on a wide range of topics surrounding its proper use within an overall concussion management program. Together with Athletes, Parents, Coaches, 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

Saint Joseph Health System  |  5215 Holy Cross Parkway, Mishawaka, IN 46545  |  574.335.5000

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