Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Does baseline concussion testing really reduce risks to athletes?

Date:
June 1, 2011
Source:
Loyola University Health System
Summary:
Baseline concussion tests given to hundreds of thousands of athletes might, paradoxically, increase risks in some cases, according to new research.

Baseline concussion tests given to hundreds of thousands of athletes might, paradoxically, increase risks in some cases, according to a Loyola University Health System researcher.

The tests are likely to have a high "false negative" rate, meaning a test shows an athlete has recovered, when in fact he or she is still experiencing cognitive impairments from the concussion.

This could increase risks by returning to play athletes who might otherwise be withheld for a longer period, neuropsychologist Christopher Randolph, PhD, writes in a recent issue of the journal Current Sports Medicine Reports.

Baseline concussion testing is mandatory in many football, hockey and other programs, from elementary schools to the pros. Such testing provides a baseline score of an athlete's attention span, working memory, reaction time, etc. If the athlete suffers a concussion, he or she retakes the test. If there is a large decrease in the post-concussion score, the athlete typically is benched until the score increases.

Randolph examined the most common baseline test, called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). The 20-minute test is taken on a computer.

"There is no evidence to suggest that the use of baseline testing alters any risk from sport-related concussion, nor is there even a good rationale as to how such tests might influence outcome," Randolph writes.

In searching the scientific literature, Randolph could not find a single prospective, controlled study of the current version of ImPACT (version 2.0). Such a study would involve baseline testing a large sample of athletes and then retesting concussive athletes in comparison with noninjured teammates. There was a single prospective, controlled study of an earlier version (1.0), but that study had several serious flaws, Randolph writes.

Studies by independent researchers have found that the reliability of ImPACT testing "appears to be far too low to be useful for individual decision making," Randolph writes.

Using baseline testing with poor sensitivity and inadequate reliability could create a false sense of security that an athlete has recovered from a concussion.

Rather than relying on ImPACT or other baseline tests, team medical personnel "may be better advised to rely upon their own clinical judgment, in conjunction with a validated symptom checklist, in making return-to-play decisions," Randolph writes.

Randolph is a professor in the Department of Neurology at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Loyola University Health System. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Randolph, Christopher. Baseline Neuropsychological Testing in Managing Sport-Related Concussion: Does It Modify Risk? Current Sports Medicine Reports, 10(1):21-26, January/February 2011 DOI: 10.1249/JSR.0b013e318207831d

Cite This Page:

Loyola University Health System. "Does baseline concussion testing really reduce risks to athletes?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601142052.htm>.
Loyola University Health System. (2011, June 1). Does baseline concussion testing really reduce risks to athletes?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601142052.htm
Loyola University Health System. "Does baseline concussion testing really reduce risks to athletes?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110601142052.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

Liberia Pleads for Help to Fight Ebola

AP (Sep. 22, 2014) Liberia's finance minister is urging the international community to quickly follow through on pledges of cash to battle Ebola. Bodies are piling up in the capital Monrovia as the nation awaits more help. (Sept. 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Global Ebola Aid Increasing But Critics Say It's Late

Newsy (Sep. 21, 2014) More than 100 tons of medical supplies were sent to West Africa on Saturday, but aid workers say the global response is still sluggish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins