A concussion is a traumatic head injury that occurs from a blow to the head such that the brain moves violently within the skull. Concussion is obviously more common in extreme sports and contact sports such as football, but can occur during any activity. Currently there are many field tests for concussion, and different sports use a variety of psychological tests and waiting periods before making a decision whether to send a player back onto the field.
Testing for Concussion
It is important for sport support staff be aware of the risk of concussion and be aware of the potential signs of concussion, such as balance or motor incoordination (stumbles, slow/labored movements), disorientation or confusion, loss of memory, blank or vacant look or visible facial or head injuries.
It is important to have a test for concussion, as some head injuries may appear to be mild but are known to have serious, long-term effects, especially with repeated head injuries or cumulative concussions.
- SAC — The Standardized Assessment of Concussion (SAC) is a multipart examination of functions most sensitive to concussion.
- SCAT — The Sport Concussion Assessment Tool is composed of a series of questions and assessments.
- ImPACT test — The ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) test is a computerized concussion evaluation tool for sports medicine personnel.
- King-Devick Concussion Test — an easy to administer test of concussion based on reading numbers on a card as fast as possible.
Using Reaction Time
Brain function is usually affected following a concussion incident. A simple reaction time test, similar to the reaction stick ruler test, has been trailed as a test simple test of concussion. The test involves testing how quickly a person can react and grab a falling ruler, by measuring how far the object can falls before being caught. Such a simple test has the potential to be used on a wide scale in the assessment of concussion, and can possibly be used serially so that it can be assessed when to return the person to playing sport.
- A possible new test for concussion is a breath test, which could detect key chemicals produced by the damaged brain to indicate a brain injury.
- Concussion tests: imPACT, King-Devick, SCAT, SAC
- Measurements in Sports Medicine
- Sports injury treatment
- Exercise and the Brain — regular exercise positively impacts brain function and your mental health.
- Health testing