What is ImPACT testing?
ImPACT stands for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing and is a computerized concussion evaluation system. It was developed to assist health care professionals in making return to play decisions after an athlete sustains a concussion. ImPACT testing is used in many professional, collegiate and high school sports programs. The test takes approximately 45 minutes to complete from start to finish and is a non-invasive video game like computer test. It is not an IQ test and it is not painful. The test is essentially a pre-season physical for the brain; there is no risk to your student-athlete.
What does ImPACT test?
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Response variability
- Non-verbal problem solving
- Reaction time
- Sustained and selective attention time
- Processing speed
- Verbal & visual memory
Why have Zeeland East & West High Schools decided to do ImPACT testing?
In the past decade concussions have become a hot topic and have seen a lot of media spotlight due to the NFL and new research showing long term effects of repeated concussions. The high school, like many other areas, has seen an increase in athletes with concussions. Since it is hard to find objective symptoms of a concussion just by looking at and talking to an athlete, we wanted to have an objective measure to help with the return to play process. This is not the only thing that will determine an athlete’s readiness to return to play but it is another tool that helps us make the best decision for your student-athlete.
How is ImPACT testing used at Zeeland East & West High Schools?
All athletes are required to have a baseline test prior to athletic participation (it is a component of FinalForms which is required to play). Athletes in high school need to be baseline tested every 2 years to accommodate the many changes their developing brain is making. Any athlete who sustains a concussion will be tested again after injury, while symptoms are present and again after all symptoms have resolved. We want to see the student-athlete’s test scores return to near baseline levels before they are cleared to return to play.
For more detailed information on ImPACT testing please click here