During the spring of 2010, the Guilderland Central School District Athletic Department launched an important new initiative relating to the safety of our student-athletes. We utilized an innovative concussion management program called ImPACT (Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). It is a web-based software program designed to assess baseline neurocognitive functioning.
Developed in the early 1990’s by Dr. Mark Lovell and Dr. Joseph Maroon of the University of Pittsburgh, ImPACT is utilized throughout the professional, collegiate and high school athletic programs. It is fast becoming the “Gold Standard” in recognizing and managing head injuries. Additional information can be found at www.impacttest.com.
ImPACT is administered by our certified athletic trainer (ATC) or by a trained member of our concussion management team. The test itself takes approximately 30 minutes to complete and will be given to student-athletes prior to their season in order to obtain a baseline measurement. The program measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning, including:
Section I – Subject Profile and Health History Questionnaire
Section II – Current Symptoms and Conditions
Section III – Neuropsychological Tests (Baseline and Post-Concussion)
- Module 1 – Word Discrimination
- Module 2 – Design Memory
- Module 3 – X’s & O’s
- Module 4 – Symbol Matching
- Module 5 – Color Match
- Module 6 – Three Letters
Section IV – Injury Description
Section V – Graphic Display of Data
If a student-athlete is believed to have sustained a concussion during competition, the test is taken again and the data is compared to the baseline exam. This information will then be used as a tool to assist the treating physician, athletic trainer (ATC) and coaching staff in determining the extent of the injury, monitoring recovery and developing a return to play strategy. If an injury of this nature occurs, we will be in contact with the parent / guardian throughout the process.
We conduct baseline tests on all contact sport student-athletes grades 7-12. Moving forward, a new baseline test will be given to our student-athletes every two years. This is due to the changes that occur in an adolescent brain.
We are very proud to have been the first Suburban Council school district to implement a concussion management program and thankful to the school community for their support of this important initiative!
To learn more about the concussion management program, contact the Director of Athletics, Regan Johnson at 861-8591 ext. 4000.
For additional resources for parents, caregivers, coaches and students, visit the New York State Department of Health site on concussions.