Sports concussion prevention program expanding to So. Indiana - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Sports concussion prevention program expanding to So. Indiana

(Source: WAVE 3 News) (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A new concussion prevention program is making an impact for thousands of student athletes in WAVE Country. Now, Norton Health Care and Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team are expanding their groundbreaking initiative from Jefferson County to Southern Indiana.

The new program, which was put into place after a WAVE 3 News investigation, includes baseline concussion testing as part of a $150,000 grant from Norton Healthcare.

KORT trainers used the test on Eastern High School senior Cade Leake, a safety for the Eagles football team who suffered a concussion in a game last year.

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JCPS starts baseline concussion testing of athletes

"Your ears really will start ringing," Leake said. "I was trying to adjust my eyes."

Leake's concussion was a result of helmet-to-helmet contact that sent him into a daze and into the new JCPS concussion protocol.

Baseline concussion testing done at the start of last season provided a road map for Leake's normal brain function. Trainers could then decide when his symptoms were gone and if it was safe for Leake to play.

All this started with a WAVE 3 News investigation on helmet safety almost two years ago that revealed one out of four football helmets owned by JCPS were rated two stars or below in the Virginia Tech Five-Star Safety Ratings System.

Now, football players in Southern Indiana are getting that same protection thanks to a new $120,000 grant from Norton. Football players at Floyd Central and New Albany High Schools will receive 206 more top safety rated helmets.

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"Nothing's going to ever prevent all concussions or head injuries," said Brian Glesing, the Floyd Central football head coach. "But it does make you feel better that they are in the best equipment available."

KORT is now doing the same baseline concussion testing at Floyd and New Albany that helped Leake get back on the field without any of the lingering effects that could last a lifetime without proper care.

In all, 75 JCPS students had follow-up baseline testing for concussion or suspected concussion included football, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, field hockey and even a couple baseball and softball players.

A reminder that there is no way to make football, or any sport, concussion-free.

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