Knowing Is Half The (UPDATE)

UPDATE: Thanks to commenter @SpMedConcepts I should write that one test is just a piece to the puzzle.  And a comprehensive testing procedure that includes all of the available “baselines” and assessments should be used.  It becomes more difficult to cloud the picture with deception when using this approach.

Knowing about concussions is one thing, but knowing that players may take advantage of the system is another factor.  Like anything else in this world people will look to exploit weaknesses in systems to gain an advantage.  After all isn’t that the crux of competition and sports?  We have seen Irv Muchnick open up the dialogue on Ritalin as a possible way to “cheat the system” and now Alex Marvez of Fox Sports tells us the other, more obvious way to “cheat the system”;

Dr. Daniel Amen, who has treated current and former players for post-concussion symptoms, said some of his clients have confessed to fudging the initial baseline tests administered by NFL teams. By doing so, Amen said those players are seeking quicker clearance to return from any future head injuries they might suffer.

If the baseline tests are to be used to compare then why try hard and excel at them, only to have that first test hinder their return?  This is the common question that the professional and adolescent athletes are dealing with.  Even though baseline tests, be it neurocognitive computer based or hand written like the SCAT2 or the new NFL test, are objective Continue reading

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ADD Drugs and Neurocognitive Testing

Irvin Muchnick written about a topic that is starting to become more evident in the “underground” of neurocognitive testing, the use of Ritalin and similar drugs in its class;

Here’s a story you may be hearing a lot more about in six months or six years: National Football Leaguers – followed by college, high school, and youth league football players – soon will be gaming corrupt Pittsburgh Steelers/World Wrestling Entertainment doctor Joseph Maroon’s “ImPACT” concussion management software system by taking the amphetamine-family drug Ritalin before being retested to assess their recovery from head injuries.

It is quite evident from my perspective that any drug that can help with focus and attention will help with attenuating symptoms of concussions, therefore helping a person on the neurocognitive testing.  If you have taken these tests you will know that mental sharpness is needed for an extended period of time; as the tests look for deficits over time, Ritalin and the likes would certainly help.

Muchnick, like myself and his source have the same “love-hate” relationship with neurocognitive testing (although he focuses on ImPACT); Continue reading