Sport-related concussions are the most common neurological injury that occurs in all levels of athletic participation. Concussions may actually go undiagnosed, as they do not always display outward or obvious signs and many athletes are unaware of either the symptoms or the dangers of playing with a concussion. Inappropriate management of a concussion can lead to increased risk of subsequent, more severe and potentially permanent, or even fatal, brain injury.
WHAT IS BASELINE TESTING?
The first, and by far the most important step in properly managing concussions comes before the injury happens. Actually, before the season even starts! A “baseline test” is a test that is done BEFORE a concussion happens.
Unfortunately, there is no brain scan, MRI, or X-ray that can detect a concussion, let alone tell you when you have fully recovered. This is where the importance of the baseline evaluation really comes in to play. A baseline test is a battery of tests that measure various areas of a person’s function (memory, concentration, visual tracking, reaction time, balance, etc.) PRIOR to starting their season, when they are healthy and performing at their best. Once we have established their brain function in a healthy state, we can then use this information as a comparison should they become injured. This way, if an athlete does get a concussion, we can compare their post-injury state to their baseline parameters to help make an accurate diagnosis, as well as to establish when they are fully healthy and are safe to return to their sport.
The initial concussion is generally not a large concern. However, it is a second concussion, sustained prior to full recovery of the initial concussion, that is a cause for concern as this may result in long term brain damage or other larger consequences. Ensuring every athlete has a baseline test done before their season starts is the first step in decreasing the greater risk of concussions.
Complete Concussion Management baseline concussion testing is covered by secondary heath benefits; this means you may be eligible to receive full or partial reimbursement. Book your baseline today and ensure your brain will remain healthy!
**Please note: proper baseline evaluations involve more than just online or computerized neurocognitive testing! These tests have been shown to be unreliable as a stand-alone measure of function in numerous studies. Furthermore, these tests do not measure a number of brain areas that are frequently affected following concussion injuries. Be cautious of clinics that advertise concussion management services that rely heavily on computer tests as these will not provide you with an accurate baseline on their own.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN MULTIMODAL BASELINE TESTING?
Our comprehensive, multimodal concussion baseline test measures multiple areas of brain function that are commonly impacted following a concussion, and evaluates various facets of concussion injuries including memory, concentration, visual processing, reaction time, visual movements, balance, motor strength, and neurocognitive testing. Each test has established their own reliability and efficacy within published research, and has shown to have improved reliability when used in combination.
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