Baseline tests are tests done before contact sports participation to determine an athlete’s normal performance. Then, in the event we think a concussion has occurred, we repeat testing and use the baseline as a comparison. Post-concussion testing almost always shows a drop in performance, which is followed by a return to normal performance, when an athlete is healed.
Any child or teen who participates in a contact sport (such as football, basketball, volleyball, lacrosse, cheerleading, soccer, ice hockey).
The most well-known and the one which this blog discusses is cognitive testing. This test can be done at home, if your child is over 12, or in the office, for those 4-11 years. In addition to evaluation of cognitive performance before sports participation, it is also helpful to perform baseline testing on balance and oculomotor function; these tests cannot be done at home but can be done in our office.
The test I am going to show you is called ImPACT. ImPACT is a computerized cognitive test which evaluates verbal memory, visual memory, and processing speed. ImPACT is the only FDA cleared neurocognitive test indicated for concussion. For children 4-11 this test is conducted in our office on an iPad. For those 12 and older, testing can be done either in our office or at home using a personal computer. To take this test, go to our website: www.sportssafect.com. Click on the tab: ImPACT BASELINE TESTING.
Read through the instructions on the page. The most important of which are: