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WHAT IS BASELINE TESTING?

The biggest concern surrounding concussions comes from the energy deficit that occurs in the brain following injury. When the brain is in this low energy state, it has been well established that the brain is extremely vulnerable to additional trauma, where even smaller impacts can lead to another concussion; and these second concussions can cause severe brain injuries with potentially permanent or fatal outcomes.

The problem is that symptoms (meaning how someone feels) do not coincide with brain recovery. The only way to know when the brain has fully recovered and out of this "vulnerable period" is to compare current brain function to when the individual was healthy; this is what is known as a "baseline test".

A baseline test is a battery of tests that measures every area of brain function that could potentially become affected following a concussion (you need more than computer tests!). The reason that the test is termed a "baseline" is because it is done BEFORE the athlete gets injured. In order to know when an athlete has fully recovered, we first have to know where they were when they were healthy. Without having this information, there is no way to truly know when an athlete has fully recovered and is safe to return to their sport.

Baseline testing is the most important thing to get done prior to beginning your sports season on a yearly basis.

**Please note: proper baseline evaluations involve more than just online or computerized neurocognitive testing! These tests have been shown to be unreliable as a stand-alone measure of function in numerous studies. Furthermore, these tests do not measure a number of brain areas that are frequently affected following concussion injuries. Major sports organizations do use these online tests and so does Complete Concussion Management™ however, we, just like professional sports organizations, also use a wide variety of testing procedures to gather the most comprehensive picture of an athlete's abilities both prior to and following injury. Be cautious of clinics that advertise concussion management services that rely heavily on computer tests as these will not provide you with an accurate baseline on their own. The biggest concern surrounding concussions comes from the energy deficit that occurs in the brain following injury. When the brain is in this low energy state, it has been well established that the brain is extremely vulnerable to additional trauma, where even smaller impacts can lead to another concussion; and these second concussions can cause severe brain injuries with potentially permanent or fatal outcomes.