What is baseline and post-concussion screening?
To better help understand neurocognitive screening, one must understand concussions. Your brain has the consistency of jello and is cushioned from everyday bumps by a fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, inside your skull. A hard hit to your head or neck can cause your brain to slide back and forth forcefully against the inside wall of your skull. Brain injury is caused by sudden acceleration or deceleration of the head. Anything from car accidents, falls, sports injuries to being violently shaken can result in concussion.
Concussions are injuries to the brain that results in temporary loss of normal brain function. Typically caused by a blow to the head, concussions can vary in severity. Symptoms of concussions can also vary based on the individual.
Typical symptoms include:
- Headache or a feeling of pressure in the head
- Temporary loss of consciousness
- Confusion or feeling as if in a fog
- Amnesia surrounding traumatic event
- Dizziness or “seeing stars”
- Ringing in the ears
- Slurred speech
- Delated response to questions
- Appearing dazed
Additional concussion symptoms include:
- Appearing dazed
- Listlessness and tiring easily
- Irritability and crankiness
- Loss of balance or unsteady when walking
- Crying excessively
- Change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Lack of interest in favorite things
In some cases, symptoms last longer than six weeks, in which case a post-concussion syndrome is present. If the person is not under the care of someone who is knowledgeable about concussions, at that time such care would be sought.
How can Sadar Psychological Services help?
Sadar Psychological Services has chosen the XLNTBrain Sport and Cambridge Brain Sciences computer interfaced neurocognitive tests to screen for the presence of concussion. These are sophisticated, well researched tests that compare a person’s results with non-concussed individuals their age to determine if deficiencies are present.
Baseline testing before a concussion occurs is recommended so if a possible concussion episode happens, there can be a comparison with the individual’s pre-concussion functioning. Baseline and post-concussion comparisons monitor the severity of the concussion and aid in the recovery process. With the addition of a daily symptom checklist, the patient’s symptoms are easily monitored for improvement. A physical and mental five step progressive exertion program incorporates increased exertion and movement to the concussed patient.
If concussion symptoms return, the exertion progress stops. In this way, the person knows when it is time to return to work, school and sports participation without limitations. Along the way, if a more in depth analysis seems warranted to evaluate the reasons for the ongoing symptoms, a functional EEG evaluation would be considered.
Contact us if you want to know more about Sadar Psychological and how we can help you feel your best.