A concussion, also known as mild Traumatic Brain Injury, occurs when a direct or indirect force causes the brain to rapidly change direction. A concussion, contrary to popular thought, does not necessarily have to be the product of a direct blow to the head; indeed, any blow to the body can cause the rapid movement of the head and neck and can result in concussion. It should also be noted that one does not have to suffer loss of consciousness to be diagnosed with concussion. In fact, in most cases of concussion, individuals do not lose consciousness.
In recent years, there has been more and more information provided by the media to the general public of dangers associated with concussion. Specifically, the general public has been advised that concussions, especially in sports, can have very serious effects on functioning while concussed and even long-lasting sequelae. Dr. Caster has been involved in the study, treatment, and management of mild Traumatic Brain Injuries (mTBI) for many years. She is a long-time member of the Sports Neuropsychology Society and experienced in return-to-play sports protocols at the professional athletic level. She was the Neuropsychology Consultant in the National Football League (NFL) to the Washington Redskins. Her responsibilities included baseline assessment and post-concussive assessment for Return-to-Play decision-making at the professional NFL level.
Dr. Caster’s experience and expertise in mTBI assessment and management make her well-equipped to be an active participant in concussion management for athletes ranging the lifespan at all levels- from recreational through high school, collegiate, and professional athletics.
Dr. Caster is a Credentialed ImPACT Consultant (CIC), which identifies her as a formally trained and professionally competent provider in the assessment and management of concussion.
ImPACT is a brief computerized measure used to establish baseline cognitive performance and assess post-concussion cognition, as well as track recovery from concussion and guide return-to-play decisions for athletes who have been concussed. Please note that ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is NOT an intelligence measure. The computerized instrument is intended to assess cognitive domains germane to safe and optimal athletic performance. ImPACT assessment is non-invasive and completely safe.
Dr. Caster, consistent with national and local standards, encourages children, adolescents, and adults involved in athletics to undergo baseline ImPACT assessment prior to engaging in practice or participation in competitive sports. The purpose of baseline testing is, as the name suggests, a metric for measuring cognitive abilities before a potential concussion to serve as a reference point that can identify any possible changes in cognition following possible concussion. Analysis of the discrepancy between baseline ImPACT performance and Post-Concussive ImPACT performance is critical in ensuring the athletes are safe to resume athletic practice or competition.
It is important to know the symptoms of concussion and what to expect during the recovery process.
Dr. Caster follows a step-wise progression in return-to-play protocols.
Although the media generally provides information that “concussions are bad,” Dr. Caster would like to explain the reasons concussions must be handled sensitively. Specifically, second concussion while concussed. There are factors that make certain individuals more prone to concussions, have longer recovery times, and potentially cause long-term effects.
Dr. Caster presently works with local soccer clubs to provide baseline assessment and post-concussive examinations to provide the most recent research findings to promote healthy recovery and management.
Dr. Caster is available to speak with parents, schools, and athletic programs to provide information that will help assure that student-athletes and the like are practicing gold standards in concussion management and recovery. Please contact Dr. Caster’s office for more information by emailing email@example.com.