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Litigation: Brain Injury News and Information
Mayo Clinic extends its free base line concussion testing
By Michael Kaplen
The Mayo Clinic has announced the extension of its statewide high school baseline concussion testing initiative to include all youth hockey players in Arizona.
In early June, Mayo Clinic announced that it would provide baseline concussion testing to all high school athletes in Arizona at no cost. Now, all youth athletes in the Arizona High School Hockey Association and Desert Youth Hockey Association prior to the start of the 2011-2012 season will receive complimentary baseline concussion testing.
Baseline concussion testing measures how the brain is working before injury. It is an important component of concussion management.
The Computerized Cognitive Assessment Tool will be available at no cost to the athlete. The test can be taken from any computer with Internet access, takes 8-15 minutes to complete and the athlete or parent can share the results with health care providers of their choice. After a concussion, the test can be repeated multiple times, and doctors can then monitor the results of this test, along with a medical evaluation, to determine when athletes can safely resume normal activities ? and in the case of a student athlete, when they can return to their sport.
The evaluation of concussions is elusive. Routine brain imaging such as CT scans or MRI studies fail to detect the brain trauma following a concussion and offer no information in determining when the athlete can return to play.
Relying on reports from an athlete also fails to provide a meaningful determination of when it is safe to return to play. Even when the athlete is no longer reporting symptoms, the brain may not be fully recovered. Having baseline and after-injury concussion tests provides the health care provider with an objective and quantifiable measure to determine when brain function has returned to baseline after a concussion, making it an important tool in making return-to-school and return-to-play decisions.
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