Concussion Outreach and Education
With the help of Barrow Neurological Institute, Arizona is leading the nation in concussion prevention, education, and treatment. The Barrow Concussion and Brain Injury Center is believed to be the nation’s most comprehensive concussion prevention, treatment and education program. Under the direction of Javier Cárdenas, MD, the center has established many of the country’s first-of-its-kind concussion programs, including:
Barrow Brainbook is the nation’s first mandated education and testing module for student athletes. Under this program, Arizona became the first in the United States to mandate all high school student athletes undergo concussion education and pass a formal test before play. The education is mandated through the Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA) and more than 250,000 students have completed the education.
Brainbook is currently being evaluated for implementation in other states. Learn more about Brainbook.
Barrow Concussion Network
Barrow Concussion Network, a telemedicine network comprises physicians and athletic trainers who provide concussion resources to Arizona’s high school athletes. Although clinicians in the network consult with patients in all parts of Arizona, the goal of the program is to provide testing and treatment to athletes in rural Arizona who may not have access to immediate health care.
The technology can connect the network’s medical team with players in real time, including during a game immediately after an athlete sustains a hard hit to the head. Approximately 75 medical professionals are part of the network and more than 160 student athletes have been consulted through the revolutionary tool. Learn more about Barrow Concussion Network.
Barrow Neurological Institute has created educational handouts that you can use for concussion education for athletes, parents, coaches, and teachers.
Research projects underway include a study with Riddell Helmets, Arizona State University (ASU), and the Translational Genomics Research Institute designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment. Additional research projects include a registry that tracks concussed student athletes to make new insights into the long-terms effects of concussion, and research to identify approximately how many individuals suffer a traumatic brain injury as a result of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence Identification
Barrow has launched a revolutionary domestic violence program that identifies and treats homeless individuals who have sustained a brain injury as a result of domestic violence. The Barrow program, which has evaluated and treated more than 300 patients, teams with various homeless shelters throughout the Phoenix area to identify and provide a full spectrum of medical care help these individuals return to a productive and healthy life.
Barrow Brain Ball
Barrow Brain Ball is the first video game that educates young children about concussion. The game offers special features that teach kids how to play smart and safely avoid collisions on the football field. The free app is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 12 and is available for download on Google Play and Apple’s App Store.
Baseline Concussion Testing
Our high school baseline concussion testing program is the largest in the nation, with 139 Arizona high schools participating. Using the same tools as the National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball, more than 58,000 baseline tests and 8,000 post-concussion tests have been completed.
In addition to these Barrow programs, the Institute is part of the NFL’s unaffiliated neurotrauma consultant program and Barrow brain injury experts are on the sidelines of every home NFL and ASU football game to provide additional neurological medical services. Dr. Cárdenas is Arizona’s only neurologist to be appointed to the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee, where he advises the NFL on best practices for concussion prevention and management.