I was at a doctor’s appointment with the good folks over at Proliance Orthopedic Associates and picked up an interesting brochure that they have put out on ImPACT – Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. Having represented dozens of clients with post-concussive symptoms that were not always picked up by their medical providers, and many others who did have their concussion properly diagnosed, this new method of monitoring severity and recovery of this injury could be important to many injured persons.
This new technology allows for accurate concussion testing through a computerized neurocognitive test battery.
From the brochure:
After a child or athlete receives a baseline test, his or her data is stored on a secure, HIPAA-compliant server. If a concussion is suspected, a follow-up test is administered to see if the results have changed from the baseline. This comparison helps to identify and manage the concussion.
ImPACT is not just a software program. It provides a comprehensive and medically validated model for concussion management based on currently accepted international guidelines and practices. ImPACT’s Concussion Management Model provides a complete framework for the overall management of concussion. ImPACT has undergone rigorous independent scientific validation over a 15-year period. No other neurocognitive test has undergone this process.
The ImPACT program was developed by a team of doctors who are world leaders in the field of concussion management. ImPACT team members have dedicated more than two decades to the scientific study of concussion and return-to-play protocol.
ImPACT can help answer difficult questions about a child’s readiness to return to school or 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 scans are helpful in identifying serious brain injuries (like skull fractures and hematomas), they are ineffective at identifying the functional effects of concussion. Consequently, clinicians often must rely on subjective observations or patient self-reports to diagnose and track a concussion. This is where ImPACt can help.
ImPACT measures subtle changes in cognitive functioning that cannot be accurately measured by relying on a child or athlete to report symptoms. Children may have difficulty communicating symptoms, and athletes are notorious for hiding concussive symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, and difficulties in thinking. Recent research has suggested that athletes at all levels of sport routinely hide their symptoms so they can continue to play. Most experts agree that relying on athletes to report their own symptoms is a dangerous practice.
As technology continues to improve our ability to find and monitor concussion symptoms, anyone who has potentially incurred a concussion should be benefited from technology such as ImPACT. If you or a loved one has suffered a potential concussion, prompt medical care and then follow-up care is crucial to helping limit the symptoms and determine what type of care is needed. Always report any possible post-concussive symptoms to your medical providers so that they can do their best job with these important and hard to identify injuries. Careful monitoring then is needed so that a return to normal activities, especially driving and participating in sports or work activities, needs to be handled and ImPACT can help with doing this in the best and safest way possible.
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