What is an ImPACT evaluation?
The ImPACT evaluation is a 20- to 30-minute computer-based test that measures multiple aspects of cognitive function, such as:
- Attention span
- Working memory
- Sustained and selective attention time
- Nonverbal problem solving
- Reaction time
- Response variability
Who should get an ImPACTevaluation?
Since symptoms, responses and recovery patterns vary by person, it’s helpful to know what “normal” cognitive function is for each athlete. Baseline testing is recommended for athletes who play contact sports such as football, lacrosse, soccer and basketball. It is also recommended for athletes who participate in high-impact sports like cheerleading and gymnastics. Baseline testing should be scheduled before the season starts, before a concussion occurs. This baseline information will help more accurately determine when their cognitive function has returned to “normal” if/when they do get a concussion.
After a concussion
The ImPACT evaluation should be administered within 72 hours of a concussion to all athletes ages 12 and up. The test can be re-administered every seven to 10 days to document improvement of neurocognitive function and should be repeated until the athlete is cleared by his doctor.
The ImPACT evaluation is a tool that helps determine when an athlete has recovered. However, it should not be used as the only consideration to determine when it’s safe for an athlete to return to their sport.
An athlete can return to their sport when:
- All symptoms (physical and cognitive) are gone
- Testing shows that cognitive function has returned to “normal”
- A medical professional trained in the management of concussions provides written clearance
If your athlete had a baseline ImPACT evaluation and has since had a head injury, call our concussion nurse coordinator at 404-785-KIDS (5437) to schedule a post-concussive test.
Schedule a baseline ImPACT concussion evaluation
Baseline testing is performed before you have a concussion.
The ImPACT evaluation requires that a child be at least 10 years old at the date of testing.
If you have an athletic team that would like to be tested at the same time, contact the following supervisors at a clinic location in your area for more information:
Tiffany Swales – Cherokee, Ivy Walk, Town Center
Laura Lyles – Forsyth, Webb Bridge, Hamilton Mill, Duluth, Snellville
John Stavrinakis – North Druid Hills, Fayette, Hudson Bridge
If your child has a concussion or you suspect he may have a concussion, call the concussion program (404) 785-KIDS(5437).