A Better Way to Diagnose Concussions

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Trident Sports Medicine & Rehabilitation is certified in the use of ImPACT, a computer-based neuropsychological test that makes managing concussions and determining return-to-play status more accurate for the physician and safer for the athlete because it provides an objective tool to measure brain reaction and function.

In the United States, it is estimated 300,000 sports-related concussions occur each year. The likelihood of an athlete in a contact sport experiencing a concussion – a disturbance in brain function after a blow to the head – may be as high as 19 percent.

The ImPACT test, which takes about 20 minutes, runs subjects through a battery of cognitive, memory and reflex tests. All at-risk athletes can take the test prior to the start of their respective athletic seasons to provide a baseline measurement. Those athletes who suffer an injury to the head can take the test a second time and it is then compared to that initial baseline test done prior to the injury. Most professional sports leagues – the NFL, NHL and NBA – mandate the use of this test both at the beginning of the season and after a head injury.

Symptoms of a concussion include headache, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light or noise, fuzzy vision, feeling sluggish, trouble concentrating, confused, clumsy, behavior or personality changes or loses consciousness. Concussions are difficult to treat. Typical imaging tests, such as a CT or MRI, can help diagnose a serious skull fracture or hematoma, but aren’t helpful in assessing the effects of a concussion.

For questions about ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing), the referral process or to schedule an ImPACT test, please call Guy Walker at (843) 847-3242 or visit the ImPACT website.