Concussions are a type of mild traumatic brain injury caused by a direct or indirect force to the head and neck that causes a change in mental status. This sudden movement can cause stretching and disruption of brain cell membranes, producing an energy crisis within the brain.
Concussion symptoms could include:
- Balance problems
- Eye strain or blurred vision
- Motion sensitivity
- Persisting nausea
- Difficulty concentrating
- Neck pain
Neurocognitive testing is performed before play and is a pre-season examination conducted by a trained health care professional. Testing assesses an athlete’s brain function, including learning and memory skills, paying attention or concentrating, and how quickly they think and solve problems.
Results from baseline tests (or pre-injury tests) get registered with Impact Testing and follow the individual. They can be used and compared to a similar exam if an athlete has a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results can assist in identifying the effects of the injury and making an informed return to school and play decisions. Just like an annual physical, we recommend a baseline test every year.
Post Injury Impact Quick Test
After a suspected concussion, the patient performs the short form neurocognitive test to help confirm a diagnosis. If the patient has not taken the baseline testing, scores get compared with normative data. If the testing shows abnormalities, we will perform a more comprehensive test. It also gives support for removal from activity decisions easy and based on best current research.
The patient’s treatment plan is based on several clinical tests to place them in a clinical trajectory. These tests include clinical interview, symptom profile, neurocognitive testing, vestibular-ocular motor screen (VOMS), balance error scoring system (BESS), BPPV testing, and cervical screening.
Based on this testing, we can assist in making informed decisions about return to activity, progress, vestibular rehab treatment, appropriate referrals, and medication selection (i.e., vestibular migraine, vertigo, anxiety).
With our concussion rehabilitation and vestibular rehabilitation programs, we partner with Impact Applications. This partnership provides us with educational resources, training, and standardized testing that includes normative data and an evidence-based approach in assisting with the diagnoses of both concussion and vestibular patients. These tools aid with proper diagnosis and directing treatment approaches to optimize results.