Baseline testing is becoming more and more widespread in use, as concussion safety has been growing in awareness. Baseline tests assess the cognitive levels of athletes at the beginning of the season. This information can then be used in case of potential head injury. If a player is suspected of concussion, the test can be taken again, and the results can then be compared. Concussions are functional injuries, exhibiting a physical sign of injury only 10% of the time. So, these tests can be very helpful in determining if there is an injury, what it is affecting and the severity of it.
Baseline tests can also be used during the recovery stage, to track a patient's progress through treatment. Even after the patient feels symptoms are gone, they still may not be fully recovered. It is important to know if a player or worker is truly ready to return, as another concussion before full recovery could be extremely dangerous. Poorly treated concussions can have life altering effects. Every precaution that can be taken, should be taken. Baseline tests, with the guidance of a medical professional, can be valuable at every step of concussion safety.
The most reliable baseline test is one that measures multiple brain functions, as it will give the most comprehensive information. A simple computer test will not always suffice and could provide inaccurate or incomplete results. We recommend a form of multimodal testing, that measures various physical and cognitive functions. These tests have shown to be much more successful by some physicians, which you can learn more about from them, in the link below.
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