Does baseline concussion testing really reduce risks to athletes?
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 likely 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 concussed 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.
Provided by Loyola University Health System
- Simple test may help judge concussion in athletes Feb 15, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- The Medical Minute: Be cautious with concussions Apr 07, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Concussed high school athletes who receive neuropsychological testing sidelined longer Dec 15, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- More attention, better treatment for concussions Oct 08, 2009 | not rated yet | 0
- Sideline test accurately detects athletes' concussions in minutes, study shows Feb 02, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
(AP)—The Obama administration says more doctors and hospitals are embracing technology as adoption of computerized medical records reaches a "tipping point" in America.
Health 4 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.
Health 57 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A University of Illinois researcher says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) "because ...
Health 59 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success. However, perceived support and acceptance from parents and teachers appears ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
A new study provides neurobiological evidence for dysfunction in the neural circuitry underlying emotion regulation in people with insomnia, which may have implications for the risk relationship between insomnia and depression.
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
(HealthDay)—Migraines and depression can each cause a great deal of suffering, but new research indicates the combination of the two may be linked to something else entirely—a smaller brain.
11 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets. The vaccine ...
56 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion—the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.
34 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A man who had contracted the coronavirus has died in Saudi Arabia, raising the death toll in the kingdom from the SARS-like virus to 17, the health ministry announced on its website on Wednesday.
29 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
GlaxoSmithKline PLC says it's starting an unusual collaboration with the U.S. government to develop several antibiotics for both bioterrorism threats and bacterial infections resistant to current medicines.
27 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
What effect does a father's depression have on his young son or daughter? When fathers report a high level of emotional intimacy in their marriage, their children benefit, said a University of Illinois study.
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0