Brain builders ex-cougar football star austin collie using cutting-edge tech at cognitive fx to improve after concussions byu football heraldextra.com symptoms of a concussion in adults

I had a series of hits, so I started out pre-concussed, he said. I had three hits to my head in about a month’s time with the last hit being the doozy. I used to make recurved longbows — for mental health, ironically. In making one of the bows, I was stretching the limb with the bow in a contraption above my head. The contraption slipped and the hardwood came down and hit me at full draw. That was what caused it. A month later I was out shooting a bow at full draw and the top limb snapped, coming back and hitting me.

He missed quite a bit of work, but then after he went back, when he’d come home, he was just so worn out that he couldn’t do anything at home, she said. We have four kids, and for 18 months, he hadn’t been able to attend any school activities, any sporting activities, any concerts, family gatherings, Christmas.


I get emotional when I think about it. It changed our life as a family. We got into a new norm where Dad was always resting, and being quiet because he was very sensitive to sound.

“I knew I had the grit to push through,” he said. “What I didn’t know is if I had enough brain to push through. The reason why we contacted Cognitive FX was that I asked all of our family to pray and to help me, because I literally felt like my bearings were wearing out. I felt like (my brain was) running so high to do the basics, I felt like I was going to blow my engine out. Coming here was a desperate hope.”

We sat in here with Dr. Fong and she said, ‘You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to get you better,’ Holly said. I was like, ‘No way.’ But when we left, we said that even if he just got a little improvement, it would be worth it. But we got a lot more than we hoped for. It’s amazing.

The first step was to get a Functional NeuroCognitive Imaging (fNCI) scan. According to Cognitive FX, an fNCI utilizes functional MRI technology to show a three-dimensional map of brain regions while a patient is performing a cognitive test. It then ensures accuracy on multiple levels while also providing a system of analysis and interpretation.

This is what sets us apart, she said. We have a comprehensive battery of seven tests. We are looking at every aspect of cognitive function that we know is affected by brain injury. We are very comprehensive. Then we take those patient’s activation, whether they are normal or abnormal, and look to see what areas of the brain are working well, what areas of the brain aren’t working well, what areas are working overtime to compensate for areas that aren’t working well. We tailor our treatment to that.

They had my treatment schedule set up and it went from one thing to another, Rand said. They have such a broad therapy plan here compared to anything else we’ve experienced. When the physical therapist was massaging my neck that first time, it felt good but I was like, ‘What in the world are we doing here?’ But when he got done, I realized it felt really good and it was almost like something started clicking. After each different test — there were parts that were frustrating because I knew I wasn’t performing — but I realized I was improving. I felt my head coming back.

After just a couple of days of treatment, Rand said he felt like someone had gone in and unclogged his brain. He talked about how he hadn’t even been able to sing along with the radio in the car, but after the second day he had the radio cranked up and was singing the whole way home, an experience he called euphoric.

When he came home after two days of this, it was like, Dad’s back, she said. I told him I didn’t realize how much I missed him. I’m not just a caretaker. He was fun to be around, not just tired and exhausted all the time. I can’t imagine how he felt for 18 months. Unless you’ve observed him for a year and a half, you can’t appreciate the improvements.

What’s happening is they are using alternate strategies to do it, so they might be overworking one part, he said. If your knee is out, you might be putting too much stress on your ankle to compensate. We see that going on in the brain. It’s pushed out of whack.

The brain is just like any other muscle, he said. It’s a more complex muscle and I don’t think we understand it in its entirety, but we understand that we have to rehab it just like you would a knee injury or an ankle injury. That’s what I’m doing here, is making sure that I rehab my brain so that I won’t have issues. I feel great. My head feels great, thanks to Cognitive FX.

I think if that were the case, I feel like I’d be on a team right now, he said. Not a lot of people have the information that this place has. I’ve had numerous tests done by several doctors in the NFL and passed them all, but it’s that general idea of the brain injury that teams don’t want to touch. I just don’t think they have all the information that they need. We’re just scratching the surface.

We have never had a patient come in and complain about the price after they’d left, Fong said. Usually patients have gone through doctors and spent more than what we charge seeing all the other specialists. Most are here because nothing else has worked.

We are a community-based practice, Fong said. Everyone we have seen here is word of mouth. We are small. We really care about people as people, not just as patients. This is the only facility like this in the country, in the world — and it works. We’re here, so use us.