Evaluation of a concussion should be done by a health care provider trained in sports concussion management. Ideally all athletes would have computerized neurocognitive baseline (i.e., before a concussion occurs) testing done before their sport’s season begins.This helps the health care provider evaluating your son or daughter’s concussion determine when cognitive functioning has returned to baseline.
Neurocognitive testing is best done with computer software but can also be done with paper and pencil tests. Paper and pencil test are not as accurate and do not provide as much rich information as computerized neurocognitive testing. ImPact Applications, Inc. produces the ImPact Neurocognitive test which measures concussion symptoms, memory, working memory, attention, reaction time, mental speed, verbal memory, visual memory, reaction time and processing speed. It is widely used many high schools, colleges and pro sport teams.
In addition to neurocognitive testing physical exertional testing is an important component of concussion testing and return to play guidelines. Physical exertional testing mimics the physical on-field requirements of a sports. Physical exertional testing challenges the brain under sport like conditions.
To learn more about getting care after a suspected concussion, click here.