Concussion Management

Naomi Albertson, M.D., is the first physician in Reno, Nevada to provide ImPACT© (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) testing for recreational athletes. Previously, the computerized concussion evaluation system, called ImPACT©, was available only to athletes on high school, collegiate, elite or professional sports teams or with athletic organizations who used the system. This is the first time that ImPACT© will be available to ANY athlete age 10 and older in the Northern Nevada area. For more about Dr. Albertson, click here.

ImPACT© was developed by doctors at the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program and has been proven to be a useful tool measuring the severity and cognitive effects of concussion. With ImPACT©, the athlete takes a pre-season (pre-injury) 30-minute test on a computer that measures brain processing such as speed, memory, and visual motor skills. The individual’s baseline data are stored and if the individual ever sustains a concussion, he or she will repeat the ImPACT© test following the injury. The pre and post-concussion data are then compared to help determine the athlete’s neurocognitive brain function and aid in the decision making process regarding return to sports, academics, and life activities.

Today ImPACT©, which was developed over the past decade, is used by more than 1200 high schools and 300 major colleges and universities nationwide, in addition to numerous professional sports organizations, including the National Football League, Indianapolis Racing League, Formula 1 Racing, NASCAR, and several National Basketball Associations and Major League Baseball teams.

“Symptoms are not always definite and the decision to allow an individual to return to activity is not always clear and that is where ImPACT’s data help us,” said Mark Lovell, Ph.D., a neuropsychologist and director of the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program.

“Most athletes who experience an initial concussion can recover completely as long as they are not returned to exertion or contact play too soon. Research clearly shows that the effects of repeated concussions are cumulative. A concussed athlete whose injury is not managed properly and who returns to play too soon before the brain has had time to heal is at greater risk for further, more serious injury, and that is a road you never want to travel,” said Dr. Lovell.

 

The UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, established in 2000, is an ongoing clinical and research program that focuses on the diagnosis and management of sports-related concussion in athletes of all levels. Visit the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program for more information.

If your athletic association would like to arrange testing, please contact us, at 775-788-5229, to assist you. Dr. Albertson is available by appointment to speak to your organization about sports concussion.

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