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IMPACT TESTING FOR CONCUSSION

Timothy C. Hain, MD Page last modified: January 28, 2017 button Return to testing index

The IMPACT test battery is an online computerized neuropsychological test that produces standardized scores concerning memory, processing speed and impulse control. The test has been shown to be both reasonably sensitive and specific for concussion in athletes (Schatz et al, 2006). The test is much less costly than formal neuropsychological testing and also can be performed in less than an hour. It allows one to compare scores over time, which may be helpful in predicting recovery.

The test's use is also expanding to include other types of cognitive impairment such as hepatic encephalopathy (Tsushima et al, 2013).

The IMPACT test combined with computerized posturography is a reasonable method of assessing the consequences of a head injury to cognition and balance. The main problem, of course, is that there rarely is a pre-injury baseline. Both the IMPACT test and posturography have methods of detecting invalid tests.

We offer IMPACT testing for individuals with concussions in our dizziness practice.

BNA test.

We were recently (2015) puzzled to get an advertisement from Athletico Physical therapy for "BNA" testing. BNA was defined as "Brain Network Activity". We wondered - -what is BNA testing ? And why is a physical therapy chain testing brain networks -- we thought that physical therapists took care of physical injuries. We didn't think that they diagnosed brain networks, or for that matter, treated brain networks. The advertisement is here.

It turns out that BNA testing is an a computerized EEG, marketed for concussion management. EEG's are electroencephalograms -- a measure of brain electrical activity.

It seems to us that BNA testing is a diagnostic procedure, similar to the QEEG or brain mapping, that is sometimes offered in Chiropractic settings. As a very experienced neurologist, who has 30+ years of experience caring for patients with vestibular disorders, I have no idea at all what I would do with a QEEG or BNA test result. It would be entirely useless to me.

Furthermore, I also don't see why a physical therapy chain, such as Athletico, is doing brain wave testing.Why not have podiatrists testing brain networks too ? Or perhaps obstetricians ? After all, the brain is involved with everything.

As the saying goes -- Caveat Emptor.

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Copyright January 28, 2017 , Timothy C. Hain, M.D. All rights reserved. Last saved on January 28, 2017