What Is Baseline Concussion Testing?
Baseline testing measures your brain function in a normal, healthy state — before a concussion.
If you get a concussion, doctors will use your baseline score to help decide:
- What you need to do to get better.
- How to treat you.
- When it's safe for you to return to your sport.
What Is ImPACT?
ImPACT (immediate post-concussion assessment and cognitive testing) is a computer-based assessment tool. It's the most effective tool for comparing a person's neurocognitive state before a concussion occurs.
Designed by concussion experts who now lead the UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program, ImPACT sets a baseline for normal brain function.
There are two types of tests:
- Adult ImPACT — for ages 10 and up.
- Pediatric ImPACT — for ages 5-9.
How Does ImPACT Work?
The computer-based adult and children's ImPACT tests take about 20 minutes.
They look at and record many aspects of an athlete's cognitive state, such as:
- Verbal and visual memory.
- Brain processing speed.
- Reaction time.
These tests alone do not diagnose a concussion.
Experts use these tools:
- To get baseline data when an athlete is in a non-concussed or “normal" state.
- As part of a complete assessment process to manage head trauma more precisely.
Who Should Have an ImPACT Test?
UPMC Sports Medicine Concussion Program doctors advise baseline concussion testing:
- Each year for kids 12 and under.
- Every two years for those 13 and older.
Each year, UPMC Sports Medicine offers baseline testing throughout western Pa. for:
- Certified athletic trainers
- Other health care workers
Sign Up for ImPACT Baseline Testing and Equipment Fitting
Post-Concussion Neurocognitive Testing
When an athlete does suffer a concussion, post-injury testing and treatment is crucial.
Our concussion experts use the baseline data as part of the post-injury exam. They may also conduct other brain function tests to better manage each athlete's unique case.
If your child sustained a hit to the head before taking the ImPACT test, we suggest seeking care from our concussion experts.
For ImPACT testing and questions, please call 1-855-937-7678.
HeadsUP Pittsburgh is a partnership between UPMC Sports Medicine and the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation to offer baseline concussion testing each summer.
Athletes in every sport can sign up for testing through the HeadsUP program. Click here to learn more and register.
Why Choose UPMC Sports Medicine for ImPACT Testing?
UPMC Sports Medicine is a certified adult ImPACT and pediatric ImPACT consultation testing center. This means we have the training, knowledge, and experience that come with completing the credentialed ImPACT consultant program.
Our team also has the expertise to use an athlete's baseline data to customize and improve concussion treatment and recovery.
Learn More About the ImPACT Tool
Visit the ImPACT website to learn more.
Learn More About Concussions
The ImPACT Tool