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Sports Neuropsychology

About Sports Neuropsychology

Sports Neuropsychology is a subdivision of Sports Psychology and Neuropsychology.  The focus of sports psychology focuses assistance in general and specific performance of an individual athlete and/or team. The field of neuropsychology consists of understanding the brain, how it functions.

In the past decade, with newer technology and methods of evaluating brain function and performance, and with the attention brought by high-profile professional athletes, awareness has increased in the areas of Concussion and Post Concussion Syndrome. Thus, neuropsychology has expanded into the field of sports to help assess, treat and prevent Concussions, which is a Silent Epidemic.

Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler is a sports neuropsychologist specializing in sports concussions and post concussion syndrome. Athletes and sports teams can consult with Dr. Diane® for assessment and management of concussions in sports.

Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler is a sports neuropsychologist specializing in sports concussions and post concussion syndrome. Athletes and sports teams can consult with Dr. Diane for assessment and management of concussions in sports.

Although more education and awareness is needed, much necessary attention has been brought to the seriousness and consequences of concussions (also called mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and the cognitive and emotional issues brought on by this type of brain injury. Sports Neuropsychologists are now playing vital roles as part of sports rehabilitation teams.

What is Neuropsychologist?

A neuropsychologist is a licensed psychologist who specializes in the study of brain behavior relationships. Neuropsychologists have extensive training in the anatomy, physiology, and pathology of the nervous system. They specialize in evaluating and treating people who are thought to have something wrong with the way in which their nervous system is functioning. From this training, the neuropsychologist can help determine your optimum level of brain fitness. Dr. Diane® is a neuropsychologist and board certified sports psychologist.

What is Sports Neuropsychologist?

A Sports Neuropsychologist specializes in the unique combination for optimum brain/body interaction. If the brain is injured from a concussion, a sports neuropsychologist has the training to do brain rehabilitation. If the brain is healthy, the sports neuropsychologist has the training to optimize and improve the brain/body performance through Peak Performance Training.

Sports-Related Concussions

Worldwide the annual incidents of sports-related concussions is over 5 million.  The Centers for Disease Control in the United States estimates that 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions occur in sports and recreational activities annually.

Symptoms of Sport-Related Concussion

Physical Issues

 

  • Falling asleep unexpectedly
  • Hand or leg tremors
  • Sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • Sexual dysfunction or loss of sex drive
  • Gait imbalance
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Loss of taste and smell

Behavioral Issues

  • Confrontational attitude
  • Explosive temper
  • Fearfulness
  • Overly talkative

 

  • Impatience
  • Thoughtlessness
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • No concept of time

Cognitive Issues

  • Distractibility
  • Disorientation
  • Temporary amnesia
  • Problems with speaking
  • Poor judgment
  • Slow thinking

 

Emotional Issues

  • Depression
  • Agitation
  • Apathy
  • Irritability
  • Fear of “going crazy”

 

  • Frustration or anger
  • Guilt or shame
  • Feelings of helplessness
  • Anxiety
  • Frequent mood changes

Dr. Diane® is the co-author of  Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, in this book she discusses the different types of Concussion:  Acute Concussion, Post Concussion Syndrome and Multiple Concussions which includes Second Impact Syndrome and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy.  As described in the book,

“When an individual has had multiple concussions due to repeated impact to the brain, natural and spontaneous healing and regulation are prevented. This phenomenon affects nearly 90 percent of people who experience a concussion. Repeated brain injuries, including multiple concussions, can have severe or even fatal outcomes, especially when the second injury occurs soon after the first and before recovery from the first has taken place.

 

Each repeated injury causes further dysregulation and exponential exacerbation of symptoms. This means that each injury is not simply an additional injury, as in 1 concussion + 1 concussion = 2 concussions. Instead, each injury is a multiple of the others. Thus, the effects of a third concussion are many times worse than those of the original concussion. That is why a slight blow to the head months after an initial injury can result in many more, more severe, and longer-lasting symptoms than accompanied the first concussion.the book, Coping with Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury, co-authored by Dr. Diane Roberts Stoler

Multiple concussions can result from many causes that may seem subtle or incapable of injuring the brain. Multiple concussions are divided into two categories: second impact syndrome and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Second Impact Syndrome (SIS)

Second impact syndrome, or SIS, has been reported when a second concussion occurs within hours, days, or weeks of a previous brain injury. This happens frequently in sports and recreation participation. Yet many players, parents, and coaches have long felt that a concussion need not restrict continued involvement in a sport. Fortunately, this belief has changed with better understanding of brain injury’s long-term consequences.

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE)

Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, is a progressive neurodegenerative brain disease caused by multiple concussions. CTE evolves slowly over decades. Research has shown that the protein tau, necessary to the connectivity of nerve impulses, gradually seeps out and destroys both the white and gray matter of the brain.”

Workshops by Dr. Diane®

How can sports neuropsychology make you a better coach, trainer, or overall team? Using cutting edge technology and methods of assessment, including Neuropsychological testing, QEEG-brain mapping, LENS-brain mapping, Dr. Diane offers workshops for coaches, athletic trainers, and administrators teaching assessment and management of concussion in sports, and how to increased recovery time and decrease repeated injury.  Dr. Diane works to keep athletes safe, for today and tomorrow, while helping them perform to their best ability!

To book a workshop or schedule an appointment for an in-person, phone or Skype consult with Dr. Diane, please call 800-500-9971 or submit a contact form.