The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program is committed to serving the community of greater Los Angeles. Our community engagement programming tackles three primary goals:
- Partnering with the community to improve awareness and best practices of sports related concussion management
- Developing a comprehensive and multidisciplinary health care workforce trained in concussion management to serve the community
- Educate the next generation of scientists and health care professionals through various levels of training services
Community Education Programs
There are numerous stakeholders involved in youth and adolescent concussion management including athlete peers, parents, coaches, athletic trainers, school administrators, school nurses, physicians and more. The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program understands the discrete but integrated roles of the various stakeholders and provides targeted education programs to help each stakeholder fill his/her/their role effectively.
K-12 Youth Concussion and Neuroscience Awareness Programs
UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT, in partnership with UCLA’s Brain Injury Research Center (BIRC), offers K-12 youth education programs in neuroscience. These courses taught by UCLA Neuroscientists teach teenagers about the ongoing changes in their developing brains and how these changes affect decision-making. These sessions also cover brain injury and concussions while addressing the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. Courses include:
- Jr. Neuroscience Training Program. Focuses on the workings of the brain and how injuries like concussions affect it.
- Neuroscience 101. Students learn about the workings of the brain.
- The Five Senses. Students discover how the brain processes information received from the five senses.
- The Spinal Cord. Students learn about spinal cord anatomy and functions, including spinal cord injuries
Pre-season Baseline Testing for Athletes
The UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT Program conducts preseason concussion baseline testing at the beginning of each sports season. Baseline sessions assess student and professional athletes’ overall brain function, such as:
- Learning and memory
- Problem solving skills
- Attention and concentration
- Reaction time
Baseline preseason testing is important for all sports, especially those considered high risk, such as football, soccer, lacrosse, and hockey. According to the 5th international conference on concussion, while baseline testing is not mandatory, it provides the physician with helpful information when assessing a new injury. If an athlete incurs a suspected concussion during the season, physicians can compare results from the pre-season baseline examination to post-injury test results. These comparisons allow physicians to determine if there has been a significant change due to concussion and to generate recommendations for optimal recovery.
During baseline preseason testing, the UCLA Steve Tisch BrainSPORT team utilizes a comprehensive, multimodal assessment battery that includes: full neurological physical examination, balance and reaction time tests, and ImPACT computerized neuropsychological testing. These tools then help physicians and healthcare professionals monitor and assess each athlete’s overall brain health and function.
For more information about our educational services or preseason baseline testing, please contact:
Yena Kim, MSW