What is a Concussion Baseline Test?
By : Concussion Canada
Since concussion was first discovered and described, a lot of progress has been made in the field of concussion diagnosis and treatment. Awareness about what a concussion is, what causes it, its impacts and how to treat it is also at an all-time high, owing to a lot of research and information sharing. Thanks to modern medicine it is now possible to undergo Concussion Treatment and make a full recovery.
To make full recovery possible, athletes or other professionals who are a high risk of suffering a concussion are usually advised to undergo a concussion baseline testing. To put in simple terms, concussion baseline testing is a collection of computerized tests conducted before the start of a playing season to measure certain key brain function parameters. Typically, it will measure the athlete’s mental processing speed, memory capacity, reaction time and the brain’s executive functioning.
The good thing is that you can do the test at home on your personal computer. Typically, the test takes around 30 minutes, so ensure you have enough time to complete it. Although the tests differ from one institution to another, you can basically expect to fill out your personal information, medical history, and current health condition before taking the actual test. The tests will involve a series of questions that test different aspects of
brain function. Once completed, the test results will be stored by the institution administering it. Anyone above the age of 12 is eligible to take the test, although adult supervision is recommended for persons under 18 years.
In case of a concussion, the victim usually experiences Concussion Signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, confusion, headaches, seizures, selective amnesia, and dizziness among many others. On top of these, he/she may also suffer impairment to certain brain functions that will affect their athletic performance. This is where Baseline Testing comes in.
As part of Concussion Protocol, the victim will retake the baseline testing after they have been diagnosed with a concussion. Their scores will then be compared with their original scores so as to determine which brain functions have been affected. A personalized rehabilitation program will then be designed so as to return the patient to their optimum condition. The patient will only be allowed to return to the playing field once the experts are sure that the athlete has made a full recovery both physically and mentally.
The importance of doing this test is that every person is an individual, and their scores will be different. Instead of using the general population’s baseline scores during recovery, using the personal scores will guarantee the best possible results. At Concussion Canada, we feel all athletes and other vulnerable professionals should take this test at the beginning of every playing season when they are fully healthy.
The good news is that there are many institutions that offer world-class concussion treatment in Canada. Some of them are general hospitals while others have specialized in offering concussion treatment for athletes. We suggest that you find one such institution that is close to your place of residence and then deal exclusively with them. This way they can keep track of your history and offer you personalized treatment.