Concussions are misleading. Their mild symptoms suggest there’s nothing to worry about, yet they can bruise the brain, cause nerve damage, and affect cognitive function.
The subtle signs of a head injury are why THINK Neurology for Kids uses concussion assessments from ImPACT® Applications, Inc. (ImPACT).
Using ImPACT to assess the severity of a concussion and track your child’s cognitive function after an injury gives us the information needed to be sure your child’s brain heals — a goal shared by everyone on our team: Shaun S. Varghese, MD, Cristina R. Marchesano, MD, Lorena Herbert, MD, Barbara Kiersz-Mueller, DO, Lauren Weaver, MD, Alicia Walls, MD, Sundeep Mandava, MD, Jennifer E. Martin, CPNP-PC, Tammy DeLaGarza, FNP-C, Robby Korah, FNP-C, Una Childers, PA-C, MPAS, and Heather King, CPNP-PC.
Learn about ImPACT concussion testing
ImPACT Pediatric is a computer-based neurocognitive test for children five years and older. The test has been extensively studied and verified to assess brain function accurately.
As a result, ImPACT is an FDA-cleared medical device used by healthcare professionals and sports organizations to quickly diagnose a concussion, track healing after an injury, and make decisions about when it’s safe for your child to return to their activities.
The most accurate results are possible when your child takes the ImPACT test while healthy (before a possible concussion). Then we administer the test again after they suffer a head injury and compare the results to the baseline test to identify cognitive changes, such as:
- Attention span
- Reaction time
- Cognitive speed
- Visual problem solving
However, we can also evaluate the severity of a concussion by comparing your child’s test results after a head injury to ImPACT’s reliable database of age-referenced norms. The norms show how a large group of children typically perform when healthy.
We also have your child take additional ImPACT tests after their concussion. We can measure their cognitive improvement by comparing each new test to their baseline test and/or first post-injury ImPACT scores.
Get insight into the ImPACT test
Using an iPad or computer, the ImPACT test begins with questions about your child's symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, memory problems, fuzzy vision, and whether activities like reading aggravate them.
This doesn't replace our physical exam, but it allows the key symptoms to be included in the program's report after your child finishes the cognitive assessment.
The cognitive tests follow a child-friendly format. The screen displays simple instructions and graphic images, and your child responds by tapping shapes, colors, and words.
Your child isn't alone during the test. One of our caring team members supports them through the process, reading the instructions out loud and making sure your child understands what to do and how to do it.
Here's one example to illustrate what to expect. One test shows a traffic light. Below the light are red and green buttons. Your child taps the red button when the traffic light turns red and the green button when it turns green. They're asked to tap the button quickly, giving us information about their cognitive speed and impulse control.
Discover why accurate assessments matter
Concussion symptoms seldom reflect the impact on your child's brain. Obtaining accurate information about brain function guides medical decisions.
Rest is the primary treatment for a concussion. The brain needs rest to heal, and limiting or eliminating physical and cognitive activities protects your child's brain, allowing it to heal and preventing additional complications.
A child's brain is already more vulnerable to an injury than a mature adult's brain. And after a concussion, your child's brain is more susceptible, making it easy to sustain another concussion with less force.
Even without a second injury, failing to rest their brain long enough to allow healing increases the risk of developing long-lasting symptoms, a condition called post-concussion syndrome.
With ImPACT testing, we have information revealing whether or not it's safe for your child to return to their usual activities gradually.
Call THINK Neurology for Kids or use online booking if you have questions about a possible head injury or want to schedule an evaluation. Our team supports your child and provides concussion testing and treatment in four convenient locations: The Woodlands, Katy, Sugar Land, and Lakeway, Texas.