Concussion Screening and Diagnosis

A variety of concussion tests are available at Banner Health to determine whether you have a concussion and the extent of brain injury. Some of these objective tests also help in monitoring the healing process. Learn more about concussion testing at Banner Health.   

How Is a Concussion Diagnosed?

If you are experiencing concussion symptoms, reach out to your doctor to get an accurate diagnosis. During diagnosis, your doctor will objectively evaluate how your brain is functioning including evaluating you vision, balance, reflexes, memory and coordination. This evaluation will help the clinician determine what therapies and treatments might help improve your overall function and decrease your symptoms. 

What Is Baseline Testing at Banner Health?

Our Banner Concussion Center and many of our other facilities perform baseline concussion testing.

This testing is not meant to diagnose a concussion. If an athlete or patient suffers a concussion, however, baseline testing results can be compared to post-injury results to help with return to play/school/work decisions.

It is recommended that kids 15 and under get tested each year. Anyone at the high school level should get tested every other year.

Neurocognitive Testing

This is done using the ImPACT© (Immediate Post-concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) tool, also used by the NFL, NHL, MLB and most NCAA Institutions in the United States.

The testing checks the following neurocognitive functions:

  • Brain processing speed
  • Memory
  • Reaction Time
  • Visual Motor Skills

ImPACT© testing is most effective when performed at baseline (prior to a concussion) and can be compared when an athlete suffers a concussion.

Balance Testing

Dizziness and imbalance are common complaints after suffering a concussion. At Banner Health, we perform a trademarked protocol for balance testing that is performed on a force plate to provide objective information on sway (how steady you are) when performing various tasks. A physical or occupational therapist or an athletic trainer will perform the baseline balance testing.

Visual Performance Baseline Testing

Visual acuity and visual integration – These baseline tests evaluate how you use your eyes for various tasks. You can also be tested to see how fast you can move your head and still see clearly, which is important when playing sports. 

How Should I Prepare for My Appointment?

Ensure you have all the proper identification and medical paperwork before you head to your appointment. Find out more about what to do before, during and after your concussion appointment.

Before Your Appointment

Before your concussion appointment it’s important to make sure you have a checklist that includes:

  • All medications you are currently taking and the dosage
  • List of questions or concerns
  • Medical conditions and allergies, as well as surgeries you’ve had
  • Your pharmacy name and number

Contact your doctor in advance about providing any related medical records or referral information.

During Your Appointment

  • Be early, especially if you’re a first-time patient, as there are usually forms to fill out
  • Bring any records that would pertain to your visit including your photo ID, insurance card and co-pay
  • Take notes, or ask your companion to do so
  • Ask for clarification if you don’t understand something
  • Ask if other tests will need to be done
  • Be clear about any medicines you may need to take
  • You may get a computerized neurocognitive test done

After Your Appointment

  • Review everything discussed so you are clear on follow-up instructions
  • Fill any prescriptions you’re given and make sure to take them as directed
  • Keep the doctor’s phone number handy in case you have follow-up questions

Let the experts at Banner Health help treat your concussion symptoms and get you on the road to recovery. We’re here to help you.