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The likelihood of suffering a concussion while playing a contact sport is as high as 19%.

With upwards of 300,000 sports-related concussions in the United States each year, according the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), a reliable concussion test is critical. ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) is a computer-based testing program that is designed to manage sports-related concussions and recovery.

ImPACT testing is offered at Monroe Clinic and schools participating in Monroe Clinic’s sports medicine program. The process begins with a baseline neurological screening to assess the patient’s condition. A baseline test should be administered by an athletic trainer, school nurse, or team doctor. ImPACT is completed in approximately 45 minutes, and reviews:

  • Health history
  • Current symptoms
  • Neuropsychological data
  • Total attention span
  • Working memory capabilities
  • Response inconsistencies
  • Non-verbal problem solving skills
  • Reaction times

Following a patient’s concussion, post-injury management is complex and individualized. The ImPACT test is given at physician-determined intervals to track the patient’s recovery.

“The mistake that many athletes make is trying to ‘tough it out’; hoping the symptoms will go away,” warns Dr. Joshua Morrison, a neurologist at Monroe Clinic. “If you don’t let your body fully recover, you’re more vulnerable for another concussion with prolonged recovery and potentially even severe consequences.”

ImPACT must be analyzed by a professional trained in concussion management who uses the information to decide when it is safe to return to play.

For more information, call 608-325-PLAY (7529). Attend our Sports Medicine Conference on August XX to learn more about concussions and other sports-health topics.