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Concussions: Breaking the Barriers of the Brain

By: Gavin Roland

Independent Study Mentorship- Fall 2016

Mentor: Dr. Matthew Higgs
Sul Ross State University: Bachelor of Science
Texas Tech Health Sciences Center: Medical School Training
John Peter Smith Hospital: Family Medicine Residency.
Mentorship Site: All American Orthopedics
Medical Field: Sports Medicine
ISM Teacher: Mrs. Click
What is ISM & Requirements
The Independent Study Mentorship (ISM) is an Advanced Academic course designed
for students wishing to shadow an adult professional in a chosen career.
Document a minimum of 3 hours of mentorship activities each week
Complete a journal entry each week
Complete an ISM Professional Portfolio Online
Develop a final product and presentation at the collegiate/professional level, presented
in front of graders.
What is your topic



Extremely relevant in the life of an athlete

A hot topic in the medical world today
Understand how people close to me will be affected later in life.
Key Points

Project topic:


Causes and effects of concussions on the brain

Short term vs long term

Athletic vs Non Athletic Concussion

Solutions and Treatments

Medicine used in recovery

Recovery methods
New and innovative concussion relieving techniques.
Causes and effects of concussions on the brain

Short Term Effects

Brain sensitivity
Slurred Speech
Increased Confusion
Causes and effects of concussions on the brain

Long term

Brain size drops 10-20%

Especially in frontal lobe

Frontal lobe controls:

Decision making
Problem Solving
Impulse control

Decrease of blood flow in brain

Lack of efficiency

Post-Concussion Syndrome

Difficult to identify
Very common (40-80% of concussion victims)

Athletic vs Non Athletic

Sport Concussions

Terms used are:

Return to play
Return to practice

Most doctors use their own scale to classify severity

Creating a common/valid concussion severity scale

Creating safer equipment for athletes.

Non-Sport Concussions


Terms used are:

Mild traumatic brain injury

Mild head injury

Glasgow Coma Scale is used to classify severity


Acute management.

Medicine used during concussions:

No medications are used to specifically treat concussions

Doctors prescribe the same medication they would for headaches.


Recovery methods

Rest of the body and brain are the best way to recover from a concussion.
Resting method include but are not limited to

Plenty of sleep at night

Avoiding drugs
Avoiding alcohol
Using ice cold packs for swelling
Using pain medicine as directed.

New methods, practices, and innovative technology

The allotted time for a Head Injury Assessment (HIA)

CB3's is an electrode covered mesh cap. The main attraction is a type of magnetic

resonance imaging machine known as a functional MRI that tracks the

brain's blood flow.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

The GyroStim, a multi-axis, robotically controlled chair.
Solutions/Treatments (Visuals)

(Pictures only)

Egg and water jug demonstration when explaining the effects of concussions on an
Product Ideas
Brain model with lights or indicators of brain activity before and after a concussion.
Create another model comparing the brain of a long time concussion victim and a
non-concussion victim
Conclusion Slide
Things I've learned from my mentor

Things Ive learned from my research

Things I've learned from the course as a whole


(Pictures only)

Thank You Slide

Thank you Dr. Higgs for being so flexible with my schedule and making medicine a
enjoyable and relaxing topic to learn.
Thank you evaluators for your time and effort you have invested in me. I appreciate
your patience throughout this presentation and your attentiveness.
Than you Mrs. Click for being very understanding and personable throughout this
experience. I enjoyed learning under someone so enthusiastic and helpful.
Thank you Mom and Dad for finding such a great mentor and pushing me to follow my
passions and interests.
Works Cited/References Slide
Forbes. Forbes Magazine, n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.
Http:// "New Concussion Technology to Debut in the

English Premiership This Season." The42. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.
"Infobase Learning - Login." Infobase Learning - Login. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.
Meier, Barry, and Danielle Ivory. "Effective Concussion Treatment Remains
Frustratingly Elusive, Despite a Booming Industry." The New York TImes. New York
Times, 3 July 2015. Web. 6 Oct. 2016.
OLSON, By ERIC. "Nebraska's New Brain Research Center Will Seek to Advance
Diagnosis, Treatment of Concussions." Star Tribune. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.
""Sport" and "non-sport" Concussions." "Sport" and "non-sport" Concussions. N.p., 17
May 2011. Web. 06 Oct. 2016.
Staff, By Mayo Clinic. "Post-concussion Syndrome." Treatments and Drugs. N.p., n.d.
Web. 06 Oct. 2016.