- Associated Press - Sunday, July 6, 2014

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Concussions, or mild traumatic brain injuries, are a serious problem. Each year in the United States, thousands of young people are treated for recreation-related concussions.

Concussions also are an issue for military service members and veterans.

Micaela Cornis-Pop of McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center led a team that developed a Concussion Coach app for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

The app is available for iPads and iPods, and it will be available for the Android platform later this year.

Cornis-Pop answered questions about the app:

What is the app designed to do?

This is a VA-developed mobile app that supports self-management of symptoms related to concussion. It was developed by rehabilitation services and the National Center for PTSD at the VA.

There is a general push in health care to empower the public to manage some of their health problems and then share the experience with a health care provider so that they are more partners in their care.

What are the app’s main features?

It has five main goals.

-One is to provide education about concussion.

-There is an assessment part. It is a 22-question inventory about problems most associated with concussion, such as feeling dizzy, balance problems, headaches, cognition.

-The “manage this moment” section is a number of tools that can help at the moment when problems occur . trouble falling asleep, for instance.

-There is a section called “building resilience.” Not only do you need to manage the symptoms, but you should create an environment that should help you generally diminish the symptoms.

-The last of the five is resources and support. This gives links to resources in the VA, how to find professional care and main websites with information about concussion.

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