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Head injuries are on the rise for athletes at all levels of play. An estimated 4 to 5 million concussions occur annually, with increases emerging among middle school athletes.

Frequently Asked Questions

The following questions are asked of the ImPACT team most often by athletes, coaches, school administrators, and parents.

Why should I choose ImPACT?

Concussion often results in measurable changes in brain function. These changes are often not visible to the naked eye. ImPACT measures subtle changes in cognitive functioning that cannot be accurately measure by relying on the athlete to report symptoms.

Athletes are notorious for hiding concussive symptoms such as headache, dizziness and difficulties in thinking. Recent research has suggested that athletes at all levels of sport routinely hide their symptoms so they can continue to play. Most experts agree that relying on athletes to report their own symptoms this is a dangerous practice.

ImPACT has been scientifically validated through over 15 years of university-based research. In fact, ImPACT is the most researched concussion management tool available. The information available through ImPACT can be valuable in assisting parents, teachers and other professionals in making decisions about the athlete's academic needs during the recovery process. ImPACT is particularly important in helping to determine whether academic accommodations are needed after injury.

What makes ImPACT different?

ImPACT is not just a software program. It provides a comprehensive and medically anchored model for concussion management based on currently accepted international guidelines and practices. ImPACT Concussion Management Model provides a complete framework for the overall management of concussion. This involves sideline based applications, graduated exertional testing and balance and vestibular evaluation.

ImPACT has undergone rigorous independent scientific validation over a 15 year period. No other neurocognitive test has undergone this process. Education and training is our primary mission. Through live workshops and web based methods, ImPACT has trained thousands of health care professionals over the last 15 years.

Will ImPACT prevent concussions?

No! Despite advances in equipment and evaluation procedures, concussions will continue to occur. ImPACT will allow properly trained professionals to track the cognitive status of athlete and help to guard against premature return to play.

Is ImPACT expensive?

ImPACT is very affordable. In fact, the cost of the program for an entire school is equivalent to the cost of a few football helmets. ImPACT was created with the goal of making the program affordable for any school or organization.

If my school uses ImPACT, does it mean we don’t need to use other healthcare providers?

No. ImPACT is a sophisticated tool that was created to be used by licensed health care providers. It should never be used by itself to manage concussion but should be used by trained professionals such as doctors, neuropsychologists as permitted by state law.

Can ImPACT be taken at home?

No. ImPACT is not designed to be an "at home" test and ImPACT does not support home based testing. ImPACT should always be administered in an appropriate environment (school, or clinic). All testing should be closely monitored by a professional or individual who has undergone training in the administration of the test.

Can ImPACT be given to individuals who have a learning disability or attention deficit disorder?

Yes. ImPACT baseline testing can be particularly helpful for those who have learning-related difficulties. An established baseline allows for comparison against the individual's own scores in the event of an injury. Without this baseline, it is difficult to determine whether an individual with learning related challenges has returned to his/her own baseline after injury.

What are key features of the ImPACT Test?
  • Measures player symptoms
  • Measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time
  • Reaction time measured to a 1/100th of second
  • Assists clinicians and athletic trainers in making difficult return-to-play decisions
  • Provides reliable baseline test information
  • Produces a comprehensive report of test results
  • Results are presented as a PDF file and can be emailed
  • Automatically stores data from repeat testing
  • Testing is administered online for individuals or groups
  • Compatible with PC and MAC

The test modules consist of a near infinite number of alternate forms by randomly varying the stimulus array for each administration. This feature was built in to the program to minimize the "practice effects" that have limited the usefulness of more traditional neurocognitive tests.

The program measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning in athletes, including:

  • Attention span
  • Working memory
  • Sustained and selective attention time
  • Response variability
  • Non-verbal problem solving
  • Reaction time

Please visit ImPACT Test for more details.