Concussion Testing Q & A
What is a Concussion?
Concussions are very nasty injuries that can either have a temporary or long-term negative effect on your life. Concussions are specifically caused when the brain is rocked back and forth or twisted violently inside the skull, usually due to a vicious blow to the head or body. This can cause swelling or bleeding, with symptoms lasting a few days to several months. Some symptoms might also never go away, which can interfere with work, school, and other aspects of daily living.
What are the Symptoms of a Concussion?
Concussions are all different, and the symptoms in one patient may not necessarily show up in another. The following are just some of the most common symptoms of concussions.
- Headaches and migraines
- Disorientation and nausea
- Difficulty remembering memories and information
- Sensitivity to light and dilated pupils
- Blurry vision
- Dizziness and other balance problems
- Increased irritability and anxiety
- Physical fatigue and general sluggishness or fogginess
How to Test for Concussions
There are many different ways to test for concussions. Most commonly, a provider will conduct post-concussion testing through cognitive and neuropsychological testing. After obtaining these results, a healthcare provider can prescribe a treatment plan moving forward.
What is Post-Concussion Testing?
Following a concussion, a health care professional will administer a series of post-concussion tests to examine the extent of the concussion while observing for additional signs and symptoms of a more severe concussion. Many of these post-concussion tests measure a patient’s cognition to assess their functionality. In other words, the cognitive tests are meant to see if a concussion has impaired how the patient thinks.
What is Neuro-Psychological Testing?
Neuropsychological testing is often specifically used to identify a concussed patient’s cognitive deficits. Popularly used in sports medicine, neuropsychological tests can evaluate a patient’s short-term memory, concentration, attention span, visual-spatial capacity, mental processing speed, and reaction time.