The Athletic Trainers Room

 

What is an ImPACT test?
ImPACT stands for Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing
The ImPACT test is a non-invasive computer generated exam utilized to help diagnose head injuries such as concussions.  This software is already utilized by professional, collegiate, and high school teams across the country.  The test measures information such as memory, reaction time, speed, and concentration abilities.


How it Works
Prior to the start of an athlete’s season a baseline test is given to measure the un-injured cognitive ability of each athlete, it’s a preseason physical of the brain.  The video game formatted test measures each athletes ability to concentrate, reaction time, and memory.  This is not an IQ test.  Following an athlete’s head injury, a follow-up test is given to compare post-injury cognitive ability to the baseline un-injured ability.  This comparison is a useful tool in determining an athlete’s ability to return to competition following a traumatic brain injury.


What it helps prevent
Comprehensive ImPACT testing helps to avoid the dangers of returning athletes to sport too soon following a traumatic brain injury before sufficient healing has occurred.  If an athlete goes back to sport too soon and suffers another head injury, they face dangers of things such as:

 

  • Second Impact Syndrome (SIS)- a rapid and often catastrophic swelling of the brain following a second concussion before symptoms of an earlier one have fully subsided
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Emotional instability
  • Hallucinations
  • Post-traumatic epilepsy
  • Mental disabilities
  • Paralysis
  • Coma
  • and brain death

 

 

 

- By Dane Renwick, MS, ATC, Blairsville Athletic Trainer


 

About the ATR

When a student-athlete needs the attention of the athletic trainer, they go to the the Athletic Trainers Room. Welcome to the Heritage Conference Athletic Trainers Room! Heritage Conference athletic trainers share their wealth of knowledge and advice for all student-athletes and parents of the Heritage Conference.

 

 

 






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