Banner Health News Center  

Banner Concussion Center encouraging baseline testing for all student athletes


PHOENIX (Aug. 5, 2013) – With fall sports season starting, Banner Concussion Center experts are encouraging athletes to get baseline concussion testing and asking schools to adopt a concussion policy that includes baseline neurocognitive testing for all athletes to ensure proper treatment and rehabilitation should they get injured.

What is baseline testing?
Baseline testing for concussion is a form of testing used to gather objective information regarding an individual’s normal or baseline brain function. Since “normal” brain function differs from person to person, baseline testing gives clinicians a point of reference when later evaluating the neurological impact of an injury.

“Whether young or old, athlete or not, the fingerprint of neurologic function identified through baseline testing ensures healthcare providers better understand  the impact of a concussion should injury occur,” said the center’s medical director Steven Erickson, a board-certified physician in Internal Medicine and Sports Medicine.

Baseline testing uses computerized programs to measure one’s ability to recognize, remember and react to words and pictures. The results provide a fingerprint of sorts to illustrate how the brain functions in a non-concussed state.

Since concussion also can impact balance and vision, Banner Concussion Center is one of few facilities in the country to offer comprehensive balance and visual integration testing to ensure a more complete and objective analysis of one’s overall brain function. Balance testing evaluates a person’s center of gravity and sway index, while vision testing measures eye movement and tracking.

Banner Concussion Center approach
The Banner Concussion Center’s comprehensive approach to concussion care includes its concussion awareness and education program as well as balance, cognitive and vision testing. The clinical team is made up of experts who are experienced in the diagnosis and management of concussion, including a readily accessible panel of subspecialists with experience in caring for people with post-concussion syndrome and other concussion complications. In addition, a multidisciplinary research team collaborates to research all facets of mild traumatic brain injury.

Learn more about the Banner Concussion Center, To make an appointment for baseline testing call (602) 839-7285.

About Banner Health
Headquartered in Phoenix, Banner Health is one of the largest, nonprofit health care systems in the country. The system manages 24 acute-care hospitals, the Banner Health Network and Banner Medical Group, long-term care centers, outpatient surgery centers and an array of other services including family clinics, home care and hospice services, and a nursing registry. Banner Health is in seven states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Nebraska, Nevada and Wyoming.

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