What is a Concussion?
A concussion is a brain injury caused by rapid, forceful movement that causes the brain to
move back and forth in the skull. It is usually caused by a bump or blow to the head, but
it can also occur when the upper body is forcefully shaken. Concussions create chemical
changes and imbalances in the brain that alter the way the brain functions.
These changes can cause headaches, problems with concentration, memory, balance, and
coordination. These effects are usually temporary, but every concussion should be treated
as a serious injury. Recovery can take anywhere from days to weeks, depending on the
severity of the injury.
What are Symptoms of a Concussion?
Concussion symptoms frequently show up immediately after a brain injury. However, you may not know
how serious the injury is at first because symptoms may not show up for hours to days after.
Concussion symptoms include:
• headache or “pressure” in head
• confusion or concentration problems
• unable to recall events prior to or after the injury
• nausea and vomiting
• ringing in the ears
• slurred speech
• delayed response to questions
• blurred or double vision and sensitivity to light
• mood, behavior, or personality change
• loss of consciousness (although most
concussions occur without loss of
What is ImPACT?
ImPACT is a computerized neurocognitive test that objectively measures the effects of concussion.
ImPACT measures any changes in cognitive functioning that cannot be accurately measured by relying
on a child or athlete to report symptoms. Athletes perform a baseline test which is stored on a secure,
HIPAA compliant server. If a concussion is suspected, a follow-up test is administered to see if the results
have changed from the baseline. This comparison helps to identify and manage the concussion. The
baseline and post-injury test can also be sent to the physician treating the athlete for their concussion.
ImPACT is a tool to manage concussions, NOT a substitute for a medical evaluation or treatment.
How does Chandler Unified School District Implement ImPACT Testing?
For the junior highs in CUSD, baseline tests are typically conducted annually with high risk, contact
sports prior to the start of a sport season. Athletic department staff and athletic trainers arrange
the testing dates and location. ImPACT testing is ONE of many resources that may be used in the
management of a sport related concussion. If you have any questions, please contact your school’s
Javier Cárdenas, M. (July 28, 2015). “Concussion.” Retrieved October 7, 2016, from barrowneuro.org/specialty/concussions/.
CDC – National Center for Disease Control - Injury Prevention & Control: Traumatic Brain Injury & Concussion.
cdc.gov/traumaticbraininjury/symptoms.html. October 7, 2016.
Lovell M. R. Clinical Interpretation Manual. ImPACT Web site. impacttest.com/interpretation.php. Accessed October 7, 2016.