Be Wary of

Online Unsupervised, “Dashboard” baseline tests!

A medical condition and its evaluations should be left to a licensed health care professional who complies with all the regulations by the department of health. Pencil and paper tests have given way to computerized tests that are more accurate at finding the nuances of concussions symptomatology and easily accessible but still a medical test.

Computerized neurocognitive baseline testing is indeed a valuable tool that can assist a medical professional manage, a concussion more effectively but, by no means, it reduces the need for a professional trained and experienced in managing concussions to administer.

Literally, an athlete can even log on to a website of a youth sports organization, or a sporting goods store to take an unsupervised baseline or as I call them, “Dashboard tests”, and he and his parents can get the results with a click of a mouse. What is not understood about the test is that it needs to be validated in a careful post test analysis otherwise it unfortunately defeats its purpose. Needless to say it also wastes your time and money.  In the event of a concussion, unless the test is certified after a component analysis, a healthcare professional wouldn’t be able to rely on it to compare results or make any recommendations post injury.

My recommendation as a parent and healthcare provider is to leave the concussion testing where it has always been; in the hands of healthcare professionals and echoed by pioneers in the field of neurology neuropsychology and neurosurgery such as Shannon Babineau, MD, Tanvir Choudhri, MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center NY, Mickey Collins, PhD and Mark Lovell, PhD at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Technology has advanced to assist medical professionals not to replace them. “A brain injury is too complicated and delicate to handle and any degree of neglect will expose an athlete to long tern re-precautions after an injury is not managed properly and in timely manner.”  Dr. Alex Gometz, DPT, CIC at Concussion Management of New York

Demand that your child or athlete under your watch receives a proper baseline test as recommended by the Center for Deceases Control.

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2 thoughts on “Be Wary of

  1. Dear Dr.Amen,My 15 year old son is still recovering from his 4th cioucssonn which occured in 11/07. He doctors with the UPMC cioucssonn clinic in Pgh, Pa./ Dr. Mickey Collins. Michael has been taken out of school for months for three seperate cioucssonns. He has lingering dizziness, fogginess, headaches, fatigue, hand tremors and cognitive deficiencies. He is recovering very slowly. His post cioucssonn syndrome has become an unofficial disability for him and he can never live as a normal teenage boy due to complications. He was perfectly normal before all this happened to him. Would you like to know more? Can you offer us any advice to help prevent future brain problems for Michael besides don’t get hit again? I am very interested in post cioucssonn treatment and new findings on this subject. Please advise me.Michelle Mullen

  2. My husband Dave would also like to dnotae his brain to the Boston University. He played 10 years and is now in the Plan 88 program. We have tried and tried to find out who to contact to do this, and we get no answers from anyone. He would like to fill out the necessary papers to dnotae his brain, before he is unable to do so.If you can help, we sure would appreciate it.Thank you,Mary Lee Kocourek

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