Local News


How a Las Vegas woman's company is helping athletes with brain injuries

Posted at 6:05 AM, May 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 10:06:41-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Jordan Zumwalt’s life has revolved around football. After playing for UCLA, the now retired linebacker was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2014.

“Some of the best memories of my life,” Zumwalt said.

Zumwalt says years of football and a severe car accident took a major toll on his brain.

“My wife used to tell me all the time, 'Jordan, you’re stuck on this topic, hello, can you pay attention to me? Can you pay attention to this?' I’m like, 'babe, I’m trying!' Little did we know, there was actually an issue there,” Zumwalt said.

Doctors would eventually tell Zumwalt his brain injuries made him incapable of multitasking. His family was the first to notice. That’s what led him to Neurologics.

Neurologics offers brain optimization programs for people struggling with cognitive deficits related to brain injury, ADD/ADHD, substance abuse and more. Its founder and CEO, Karen Odell-Barber, is from Las Vegas.

“I’m super passionate about brain health. I’m brain injured myself, and I love the game of football. I have two boys that played,” Odell-Barber said.

Odell-Barber says brain mapping analyzes your brain under stress and under task. It finds the problem areas and creates a plan to improve your brain function.

“It’s amazing to be able to measure how they perform in a perfect learning environment vs. on field when they’re really stressed, and they’re forced to remember a play or win the game. We look at what does that default look like and then we optimize the brain to lower that default so that they’re performing at their top line,” Odell-Barber said.

Odell-Barber said athletes come in to Neurologics post-season to fix their brain — allowing their return to the gridiron.

Patients with a traumatic brain injury have seen a 21-point IQ increase after using the program, improving learning and memory, Odell-Barber says.

“It’s the most comprehensive brain assessment available worldwide,” she added.

Zumwalt says he’s seen such an improvement in his own health, he no longer worries about his own son playing football.

“Now that we have Neurologics, trauma isn’t an issue anymore. We can help him fix all those issues. So my message is for all those wondering moms and parents out there, there are solutions,” Zumwalt said.

Brain mapping is not just for football players. Odell-Barber says the program is for anyone who wants to improve their brain health. It is especially helpful for students with ADHD, those dealing with addiction, or adults with a family history of dementia.

Brain mapping and optimization costs about $35,000. Right now, the program is not covered by health insurance. There are financing options listed on the Neurologics website.