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Sports Neuropsychology: Assessment and Management of Traumatic Brain Injury [Hardcover]

Ruben J. Echemendía PhD

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Book Description

Feb. 6 2006 1572300787 978-1572300781 1
Neuropsychologists are increasingly involved in the assessment and management of sports-related concussion. This is the only book to provide practical guidelines for evaluating mild head injury and making crucial return-to-play decisions for athletes at all levels, from schoolchildren to high school, college, and professional players. Essential basic knowledge is presented and exemplary concussion management programs are described in depth. Coverage encompasses the most sophisticated, evidence-based neurocognitive techniques, including computerized test batteries for pre- and postconcussion assessment. With special attention to ethical and professional issues, the book provides keys to successful collaboration with physicians, coaches and trainers, and patients and their families.

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Review

"As neuropsychological assessment, especially computerized, plays an increasingly prominent role in the recognition and management of athletic mild traumatic brain injury, this comprehensive text is a 'must read' for the entire sports medicine team treating such injuries. Written by a 'who’s who' in the field, and covering all age groups, this is by far the most salient text on this important subject."--Robert C. Cantu, MD, Neurosurgery Service, Emerson Hospital; Neurological Sports Injury Center, Brigham and Women’s Hospital

"This practical yet scholarly volume provides important information for those interested in sports neuropsychology. It includes useful suggestions for handling many professional issues that neuropsychologists face when evaluating an athlete, including the key (and difficult) question of how to evaluate recovery from concussion and determine an athlete's readiness to return to play. This up-to-date book will be of benefit to both experienced and beginning neuropsychologists involved in this new area of work."--George P. Prigatano, PhD, Department of Clinical Neuropsychology, Barrow Neurological Institute, St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center

"Athletes frequently suffer concussions, and neuropsychologists are increasingly playing a role in assessment, treatment, rehabilitation, and return to play. This book provides both breadth and depth in the areas of concussion management and sports neuropsychology. The chapters are interesting, unique, and written by leaders in the field. I consider it essential reading for professionals interested in sports neuropsychology."--Grant L. Iverson, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, University of British Columbia, Canada


"The text will likely be of greatest interest to neuropsychologists....[It] will be of interest to other sports medicine clinicians who are interested in obtaining an in-depth appreciation of the history and development of neurocognitive testing in sports, and how various cognitive functions are assessed by the different computerized neurocognitive tests. Athletic trainers and team physicians may find the chapter on sideline assessment particularly useful. Students or neuroscientists needing a review of sports concussion epidemiology and basic concussion pathophysiology will also find the book valuable....Sports Neuropsychology is well-written, does not suffer from the redundancy found in many edited texts, and should be considered a useful and authoritative review of the status of this emerging specialty."--Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences
(Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences 2006-02-08)

"This timely resource represents a compilation of historical, conceptual, developmental, and applied knowledge concerning the neuropsychological sequelae and implications of sports-related concussive injuries in both amateur and professional athletes....A welcome addition to the broader field of clinical neuropsychology providing a blueprint that maps out new avenues for clinical practice. It covers a wide range of conceptual and practical issues concerning the diagnosis and treatment of concussive injuries, and is an excellent resource for practicing clinicians working with a broad spectrum of competitive athletes."--Developmental Neuropsychology
(Developmental Neuropsychology 2006-02-08)

"The book is well-referenced and very readable....The book is well edited so that the writing style flows naturally....Ample ideas for research can be found throughout the text....It would serve well as a reference book for professionals involved with sports programs or neurological rehabilitation."--Physical Therapy
(Physical Therapy 2006-02-08)

"An interesting and useful book, because it sheds light on a relatively novel but growing area of clinical practice for neurologists and clinical neuropsychologists and includes valuable practical information for someone interested in developing a sports concussion management program. Concussion management certainly appears to be a burgeoning field, and this book does an excellent job of discussing practical matters critical for assisting in the care of athletes at all levels of competition."--Archives of Neurology
(Archives of Neurology 2006-02-08)

About the Author

Ruben J. Echemendía, PhD, obtained his doctoral degree from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Formerly, Dr. Echemendía served as Director of the Psychological Clinic at The Pennsylvania State University for 15 years before pursuing a full-time independent practice. During his tenure at Penn State, he founded the clinical neuropsychology laboratory in the Department of Psychology, where he focused his research efforts on the diagnosis and management of cerebral concussion, and was the principal investigator for the grant-supported Penn State Cerebral Concussion Program. He has served as Director of the National Hockey League's Neuropsychological Testing Program and as neuropsychological consultant to the United States Soccer Federation and the U.S. national soccer teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins Hockey Club, and several minor league, college, and high school programs. He has edited three books, is the author of numerous book chapters, and has published extensively in psychological and medical journals. Dr. Echemendía has presented symposia, lectures, and research papers throughout the United States and internationally. He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology and was recently elected a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division of Neuropsychology.

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The roots of modern neuropsychology are based in the study of brain-behavior relationships. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sports Neuropsychology - A review from the perspective of a biomedical engineering student and athlete Oct. 20 2008
By HAH - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Review Intentions

My review is intended to give potential readers guidance as to what they might gain from reading this book. There are many different professions that can benefit from the information provided, although the compiling author had clinical neuropsychologists and psychologists in mind. I encourage anyone interested in sports, medicine, and sports related injuries to read some, or all, of this book, but note, not everyone will enjoy it due to the background knowledge necessary for understanding.

Style and Prose Critique

For the most part, the book is written in a conversational tone, which allowed me to get through some of the more technical sections with ease. The book is structured much like a review article, meaning it contains information from a broad range of studies and authors, mainly focusing on mild traumatic brain injuries (MTBI) and concussions. I liked the use of various authors to write about different aspects a neuropsychologist might face when entering the realm of sports neuropsychology.

Content Discussion

The book is broken down into five main parts, each of which is broken down into chapters with more specific examples and explanations. The first part gives a basic history of sports in which head injuries historically appear. It also explains the need for study and management of sports related concussions. The author gives an objective view of pros and cons working with athletes and athletic teams. In this section, he encourages each neuropsychologist to carefully examine his or her motives for pursuing this specific field. As a whole, this part is interesting and gives a good background for the rest of the book; however, much of the historical information is not pertinent to current applications and might seem useless to some readers.

The second part of the book is by far the most technical. The intended reader should have no difficulty understanding the basic physiological and scientific information presented. This section tackles the difficult issue of defining what constitutes a concussion, the epidemiology of concussions, and clinically applying this knowledge in the sports arena. What I like best about this section is the author's use of sports jargon. For example, William B. Barr writes, "The terms `having one's bell rung' or receiving a `ding' are sports expressions used to describe when an athlete has received a relatively severe blow to the head" (Echemendía, p. 89). I've heard these terms used all my life playing football and rugby, and not once have I stopped and thought how we can dismiss what is potentially a serious brain injury with something as simple as a colloquial phrase. Some of the more important questions raised in this section are the cause and effect, both short and long-term, of MTBI on kids as well as adults. Some studies provide evidence to answer these questions, but for the most part, the scientific and medical communities know little about how concussions are caused (traditional versus rotational forces), and the effects of concussions. Evidence has shown that there are lower concussive thresholds for successive impacts, and that second-impact syndrome could have devastating consequences later in life ranging from cognitive impairment to even Alzheimer's. This section also provides the reader with information on how to assess MTBI on the "sideline," and what the guidelines for "return-to-play" should be.

The third part of the book aims to aid the neuropsychologist in starting and maintaining MTBI testing programs including elementary school, middle school, high school, college, and professional level athletes. I like the idea that these testing programs can be implemented in schools to educate and involve a majority of young athletes and parents that may not know anything about MTBI and the risks to which young athletes are exposed. I think more than just neuropsychologists can benefit from reading this section. For these programs to be initiated, public officials need to be convinced of the dangers of MTBI before any of them agree to spend money on a comprehensive and potentially expensive program. The author might have added advice as to presenting this information to those that might not fully grasp the physiological and developmental importance of the brain and its functions. Unfortunately, I think navigating the political or social community is a necessary evil in which the average neuropsychologist will have little to no experience.

The fourth section is specific to computerized neuropsychological test batteries. As a non-neuropsychologist I found this section to be the least useful or informative to me. Multiple tests are given including the ImPACT Neuropsychological Test Battery, the HeadMinder Concussion Resolution Index, CogSport, and Sports Concussion Applications of the Automated Neuropsychological Assessment Metrics Sports Medicine Battery. These all have slightly different criteria for assessing cognitive impairment, but what I took from the section is that computerized technology is a method for making neuropsychological testing quicker and cheaper which in turn will allow it to be used in a much more extensive manner when compare to traditional handwritten neuropsychological tests. This section is really only useful if the reader intends to implement some sort of computer based testing.

The fifth and final section gives the reader different perspectives when assessing, treating, and monitoring sports MTBI. Throughout the book, but especially here, the author(s) state the importance of collaboration when dealing with MTBI. Certified athletic trainers, team physicians, coaches, players (and parents), and neuropsychologists all must work together when either assessing or treating MTBI. The main goal is to prevent further injury to the player, while not being overly cautious so as to prevent the player from achieving necessary goals.
Final Statements

I think this book does a good job explaining many aspects of sports MTBI. For those interested in medicine as well as sports, I highly recommend reading and understanding the facts behind why some of your favorite sports players might not be allowed to play for extended periods of time from one little hit in a game. The implications for fantasy football could be enormous.
5.0 out of 5 stars Review by a practicing Sport Psychologist May 17 2013
By Timmie A. Pollock - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found this book to be an excellent resource for anyone working with athletes; even more so for those working with athletes who are more likely to sustain brain injury such as football players for example. I work with equestrians where head trauma is fairly common. While this book is technical enough for more advanced practitioners, for the most part it is not a difficult read. The author presents the information clearly. There is currently little usable information available about how to approach head injury in athletics for those actually working with athletes. This book fills the gap. In particular I found the information regarding quick assessment instruments to be very helpful.

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