August 29, 2012 15:00 — 0 Comments

Scientists Question Validity of ImPACT Concussion Testing

With some 1,700 football players in the NFL and 66,000 in college, in addition to 1.1 million in high schools and 250,000 more in Pop Warner youth programs, athletes and families across the country are eager to find ways to reduce the risk of brain injury, especially given the frightening consequences that are regularly reported on by the media. A wave of companies offering diagnostic tools and concussion treatments — including ImPACT, maker of the world’s most popular concussion evaluation system — are just as eager to sell them peace of mind, according to ESPN The Magazine.

ImPACT markets a 20-minute computerized test that players can take via software or online to measure verbal and visual memory, processing speed, reaction time and impulse control — the idea being that doctors or athletic trainers can give a baseline test to a healthy athlete, conduct follow-up tests after an injury and then compare the results to help determine when it’s OK to return the athlete to play. Most NFL clubs use the test, as do all MLB, MLS and NHL clubs; the U.S. associations for boxing, hockey and soccer; and nine auto-racing circuits. However, scientists question whether the test works. For more information, click here to read the full article.