Those who have experienced a sport-related concussion know it can be a long road to recovery, however often times the people around them may struggle to understand what they are experiencing.
The Alberta Sports Development Centre (ASDC) in partnership with Red Deer College (RDC) hope to bridge this gap on May 5th by hosting a Sport Related Concussion Information Session.
The seminar will be hosted by Dr. Elena Antoniadis, a psychology instructor at RDC, where she will present an overview of her findings during her research on concussions in which she drew on local RDC athletes and members of the community to learn more about the effects of a concussion.
Gwen Farnsworth, program assistant for the ASDC, explained Dr. Antoniadis hopes to give people a better understanding of what happens to the brain when it experiences concussion and as well as insight into what you may see in a person after their concussion during recovery.
“It’s the jarring and rattling around of the brain in the skull that will give you a concussion,” explained Farnsworth. “Once you have one concussion you are far more susceptible to a second one, and after your second one it is guaranteed your brain chemistry will change.
“It’s devastating for a lot of people – other people who have never experienced it don’t understand how much effect a hit to the head can have.”
She added it’s vital for people to understand that post-concussion athletes are likely going to sustain headaches as well as sensitivity to light and stimulus.
The session encourages athletes, parents, coaches, teachers, sport organizations, and the medical communities to attend the free informative evening in order to better understand what happens to a person’s brain post-concussion and help them to obtain a better grasp on the recovery process.
“People need to know what the warning signs are and understand that the brain will take a lot longer to heal than you would think, because you have actually damaged the brain,” said Farnsworth. “Just because you can’t see the damage done to the brain doesn’t mean it’s not there and that the chemistry in your brain hasn’t been changed from that concussion.”
Farnsworth explained the importance of everyone involved in the life of the recovering person.
“Teachers need to understand they may need extra time to do assignments, or that students may need rest periods in between classes,” she stated. “We want to see all the dots connected by having the coaches talk to the parents and the parents talk to their teachers so that way everyone can be involved to help them recover.”
The session will take place on May 5th at 7 p.m. at the Margaret Parsons Theatre in RDC, however seating is limited and the ASDC asks participants to pre-register by calling 403-342-3231 or registering online at www.asdccentral.ca.