Concussion is a common injury, but is often difficult to diagnose and treat. ImPACT® provides clinicians with invaluable information that can help take the guesswork out of concussion management and promote safe return-to-play decisions for athletes.
As a community outreach program, PRO-PT has partnered with our local high schools to bring ImPACT®, the only FDA approved baseline and post injury concussion testing to our local high school athletes to assist the area medical providers in determining an athletes safe return to play in their designated sport. We test more than 1500 athletes per year at no charge to the school or the student athletes.
What is ImPACT®?
ImPACT® (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a sophisticated, research-based computer test developed to help clinicians evaluate an athlete’s recovery following a concussion. ImPACT® is a neurocognitive test battery that has been scientifically validated to measure the effects of sports-related concussion. In the preseason, each athlete is given a baseline test. If a concussion is suspected during the season, a follow-up test is administered to see if the results have changed from the baseline. This comparison helps to evaluate and manage the concussion. Follow-up tests can be administered over days or weeks so clinicians can continue to track the athlete’s recovery from the injury. ImPACT® is America’s most widely used, and independently validated and researched neurocognitive evaluation system. Founded by Dr.’s Joseph Maroon, Mark Lovell and Michael “Micky” Collins, this comprehensive approach is the standard adopted across the NFL, NHL, Major League Baseball, college and high school athletics. ImPACT® follows a traditional, medically based program involving clinics, hospitals, certified athletic trainers, doctors and other medical professionals trained in concussion evaluation and management.
ImPACT® begins with a 20-minute baseline test that is administered pre-season. If a concussion is suspected later, a post-injury test is administered by trained clinicians to assess the possible after-effects. The program evaluates multiple aspects of brain function including memory, processing speed, reaction time and post-concussive symptoms, assisting doctors in making return-to-play decisions and potentially reducing the possibility of long-term neurological effects.
Why use ImPACT®?
ImPACT® can help provide important information about an athlete’s readiness to return to play, protecting them from the potentially serious consequences of returning too soon. While traditional neurological and radiological procedures such as CT and MRI are helpful in identifying serious brain injuries (e.g., skull fractures and hematomas), they are ineffective at identifying the functional effects of a concussion. Consequently, clinicians must often rely on subjective observations or patient self-reports to diagnose and track a concussion. Consequently, clinicians must often rely on subjective observations or patient self-reports to diagnose and track a concussion. This is where ImPACT® can help.
Conducting baseline and post-injury neurocognitive testing using ImPACT® helps to objectively evaluate an athlete’s cognitive status. When baseline data are unavailable, ImPACT® has a normative database of thousands of non-injured athletes, which can be used for effective evaluations and comparisons.
For more information on ImPACT®, please visit their website: www.impacttest.com