universities and 4000 high schools, in implementing a
computer testing program known as ImPACT (Immediate
Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing). The
ImPACT test measures basic memory, word recognition
and pattern recognition skills. To compete in the AMA
Nationals, a license holder is required to take a baseline
test at the beginning of the series and be retested post-concussion to determine if there’s been any erosion of
skills. The ImPACT test doesn’t just ask the racer to
remember words, but instead produces scores for five
different areas—motor processing speed, reaction time,
visual memory, impulse control and verbal memory. The
idea is that each professional racer takes the test once
before the season starts, and then again after a head
injury. If he scores substantially lower on the second try, he
is kept off the track until he can match his baseline score
or otherwise get full clearance from a doctor.
There’s nothing particularly novel about the ImPACT
test. Even its proponents admit that it’s essentially a
fancier version of existing protocols like the Sport
Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT2), which also measures
cognitive abilities. And, by no means should the imPACT
test be considered the gospel of concussion diagnosis. Its
popularity is in large part a response to the “we have to
do something” crowd, but the ImpACT test is better than
the previous Wild West of professional motocross where a
rider would be knocked out in his heat race and be back
on the starting line for the Last Chance.
There is a lot of misinformation about concussions.
Here are the top three myths.
(1) Concussions are only caused by a
direct blow to the head. Not true. A blow
to the head, face, neck, or even elsewhere on
the body can transmit forces to the brain.
( 2) Athletes always report con-
cussions to their team managers,
( 3) All concussions are the
same. Not true. No two concus-
sions are identical. The symptoms
can be very different, depending
on the degree of force, location
of the impact, tissue damage, the number of
previous concussions and the time between injuries.
EVERYONE REMEMBERS WHEN THE
AMA MEDICAL CREW HELD JAMES
STEWART’S BIKE UP FOR HIM AND
PATTED THE SEAT TO HELP HIM GET
BACK IN THE RACE.
There have been infamous cases where a concussed
rider had to ask his mechanic which way the track went
after a practice crash, and everyone remembers when the
AMA medical crew held James Stewart’s bike up for him
at Daytona and patted the seat to help him get back in the
race as he staggered around. So, the ImPACT test is something worth doing, and even a flawed something is better
than the organizational blind eye.
There have been infamous cases
where a concussed rider had to
ask his mechanic which way the
track went after a practice crash
Not your grandfather’s helmet. Modern helmets are complex
devices with varying densities of foam and moving parts.
Shoei’s new helmet attempts
to address the current
concerns for brain