PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine meets the growing needs for concussion management

Posted On On: June 29, 2015 Categories Filed Under: Member News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (June 29, 2015) – For any recreational athlete or non-athlete who participates in activities that may pose risk for concussion, the PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine Center uses a computerized concussion evaluation system, called ImPACT© (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) to better manage a concussion and help determine when someone can safely return to a sport or activity following a concussion.


As a Certified ImPACT Consultant, PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine Center administers the ImPACT test to any individual aged 12 and older, including recreational and serious athletes and non-athletes. With ImPACT, the athlete or individual takes a pre-season or pre-activity 20-minute test on a computer that measures brain processing such as speed, memory and visual motor skills. The individual’s baseline data is stored in a computer file. Should the individual ever experience a concussion, he or she will take the ImPACT test several times in the days following concussion. Post-concussion data is then compared to baseline data to help determine the severity and effects of the injury. The data helps to determine when the athlete’s neurocognitive brain function has returned to baseline scores and when it is safe for the athlete or individual to return to sports or activity.


A concussion, which occurs in about 10 percent of all athletes in contact sports, is any alteration of mental status due to sudden and violent rocking of the brain inside of the skull caused by a traumatic blow to the head or upper body. Concussion symptoms, lasting various lengths of time, may include amnesia, disorientation, confusion, fogginess, headache, blurred vision, nausea, fatigue and sometimes loss of consciousness.


“Symptoms are not always definite and the decision to allow an individual to return to activity is not always clear and that is where ImPACT’s data helps us,” said Michael Cordas, DO, primary care sports medicine specialist and director of the PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine Center.


“Most athletes who experience an initial concussion can recover completely as long as they are not returned to exertion or contact play too soon. Research clearly shows that the effects of repeated concussions are cumulative. A concussed athlete whose injury is not managed properly and who returns to play too soon before the brain has had time to heal is at greater risk for further, more serious injury, and that is a road you never want to travel,” said Dr. Cordas.


For more information, contact the PinnacleHealth Sports Medicine Center at (717) 791-2620.