While the alarming stories in the headlines are all too real for the athletes affected, we believe that the negative, long-term consequences of concussions can typically be avoided with appropriate physical conditioning, coaching, equipment, education, awareness, evaluation and treatment.
With the latest methods, we are committed to improving concussion treatment for athletes of all ages and levels of play, from youth leagues to the collegiate and professional ranks. We’re doing this by increasing awareness of the signs and symptoms of concussions and other head trauma, as well as providing state-of-the-art diagnostic and treatment approaches.
To aid pediatricians, family doctors and sports medicine physicians, we developed a highly skilled team of concussion experts representing multiple disciplines and areas of expertise. Our team includes neuropsychologists and certified athletic trainers who evaluate individuals with concussions and create a management plans that will return them to the field and to their daily lives—in the classroom or workplace—in the safest and most expedited manner possible.
Baseline Concussion Screening
Baseline concussion testing is key for athletes and treatment of concussions. It gives our experts a place to start when concussions do occur.
What is baseline testing?
We use a baseline tool called ImPACT or Immediate Post Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing. We are the only hospital in Georgia to offer ImPACT countywide. Our goal is to reduce the chance of follow-up concussions, thus helping student-athletes' performance both on the field and in the classroom.
ImPACT is a unique software system that has been mandated by the NHL and is used by most NFL and MLB teams, and countless colleges and high schools across the country. ImPACT is fast becoming the “Gold Standard” in recognizing and managing head injuries.
This online exam is taken by each student-athlete at our facility, under the supervision of one of our staff, prior to the start of each athletic season. The baseline concussion screening program helps us establish a baseline to work with during the season should the student-athlete suffer a concussion. It also helps determine the extent of the injury, allowing our staff to monitor recovery and aid in making safe return-to-play decisions.
To schedule an appointment for a baseline concussion screening, call 404-847-4437.
To schedule an appointment for a vestibular therapy, call 678-312-7880.
At the Concussion Institute, we provide comprehensive concussion diagnosis and treatment.
Following a concussion test and the positive diagnosis of a concussion, rest is key. Individuals with a concussion should not participate in any high-risk activities (e.g., sports, PE classes, recess, riding a bike or any other physical activity that increases normal heart rate). Limit activities that require lengthy mental activity or concentration (such as homework, schoolwork, job-related activities, extended video game playing, etc.), as this can make the symptoms worse. Make sure they get good sleep—no late nights or sleepovers. Encourage them to take naps when they feel tired or drowsy.
It is important that teachers, administrators, counselors, etc., know about your child’s injury. Student-athletes who experience concussion symptoms often need extra help to perform school-related activities and may not perform at their best on tests. Rest breaks during the school day can also be helpful. As symptoms decrease during recovery, the extra help or supports can be slowly removed. The Concussion Institute staff will work with your child’s school to help manage the workload and schedule as your child recovers.
It is normal for a child or adolescent to feel frustrated, sad and even angry because they cannot return to sports and/or recreation right away. With any injury, a full recovery will lower the chances of getting hurt again. It is better to miss one or two games than an entire season. Careful post-injury management will ensure the quickest and safest return to sports and to the classroom.
Allow your child to return to play only with permission from a healthcare professional who has experience in evaluating concussions. Recovery will vary across individuals, so you should be wary when permission is based on the amount of time spent “resting,” rather than measures of current symptoms and neurocognitive status.
Any athlete who is recovering from a concussion, but has not yet fully recovered, is at risk for what’s known as Second Impact Syndrome (SIS). Not only can a repeat concussion—one that occurs before the brain has completely healed—slow recovery, it can also increase the likelihood of having long-term problems and, in rare cases, it can cause death. Prevent common long-term problems and SIS by seeking appropriate medical evaluation and approval for return-to-play.
Once cleared—when 100% symptom free—be sure that your child follows a gradual return-to-play protocol under the supervision of a healthcare provider or certified athletic trainer with expertise in concussion management.
To talk to one of Atlanta’s leading concussions experts, or to set up an appointment, call 404-847-4437.
Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between the brain and behavior. A clinical neuropsychologist is a licensed and Ph.D.-trained health care provider who specializes in how brain injuries, diseases and disorders of the nervous system impact emotions and behaviors.
The expert clinical neuropsychologists at the Concussion Institute use their knowledge and expertise to assess, diagnosis, treat and/or provide rehabilitation of patients with neurological, medical, neurodevelopmental and psychiatric conditions, as well as other cognitive and learning disorders.
Our neuropsychologists use psychological, neurological, cognitive, behavioral and physiological principles, techniques and tests to evaluate patients and develop unique treatment plans.