Mayo Clinic provides concussion testing for athletes at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, Florida and Minnesota.

Concussion testing assesses your brain and thinking (neurocognitive) function before and after a trauma. Concussion testing is one of the tools doctors may use to evaluate and manage your condition.

Concussion testing is a brain function (neurocognitive) test that evaluates your brain's current thinking (cognitive) function. The test, also called baseline concussion testing or neurocognitive testing, is conducted to determine your current level of brain function.

This test may be repeated often, especially in younger athletes whose brains develop and change over time.

After a concussion, testing may be repeated and compared to the previous test to determine whether a change has occurred, and the extent of the change. It can also be used as a guide to determine when the brain has recovered from a concussion.

Online cognitive test

Baseline concussion testing is often available using computerized tests. Computerized baseline concussion testing offers a fast, efficient way for many athletes to test their normal brain function, or baseline level of function.

All Mayo Clinic campuses offer online cognitive tests for baseline concussion testing. The tests take about 15 minutes to complete. Athletes or parents can choose to share the results with their doctor, athletic trainer and other health care providers.

After a concussion

In the days and weeks after your concussion, the computerized concussion test may be repeated several times. This test is one of the tools that doctors may use to determine when your brain function has returned to normal. Doctors may use this test and other tests to decide when you may be able to safely resume normal activities.

However, if tests show your brain function has returned to normal, but you're still experiencing symptoms from your concussion, then doctors will advise you not to return to sports until your symptoms are gone. Although many concussions resolve quickly, some athletes may experience symptoms for weeks, months or longer.

After you've had a concussion, doctors will also review your history and symptoms and perform a neurologic examination to test your balance and other brain functions. A doctor trained in brain and mental health conditions (neuropsychologist) may assess changes in brain function.

An integrated team of neurologists, neuropsychologists, sports medicine specialists and others will evaluate you and manage your symptoms. Your treatment team will determine when you're able to return to sports, school and other activities.

Risks after a concussion

If you continue to play or return to play too early after a concussion, there is a significant risk that you may experience another concussion. A second concussion while the initial concussion is healing can result in fatal brain swelling (second impact syndrome).

Repeat concussions can take longer to heal. Also, repeat concussions have a higher risk of causing permanent nervous system (neurological) damage.

Children, teens and female athletes may be at a higher risk of concussions than are others, and their recovery may be longer.

Individuals who have had a concussion should not return to play or activities until all symptoms have ceased and they have been seen by a health care professional with expertise in evaluating and treating people with brain injuries such as concussion.

  • Experience. Mayo Clinic doctors trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologists), sports medicine, physical medicine and rehabilitation (physiatrists) and others have experience and expertise diagnosing and treating people with concussions and other brain injuries. Doctors have evaluated children, adolescents and adults, as well as youth, collegiate and professional athletes.
  • Team approach. An integrated team of neurologists, sports medicine specialists, physiatrists, and doctors trained in brain and mental health conditions (neuropsychologists), brain imaging (neuroradiologists), brain surgery (neurosurgeons), physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, emergency medicine, and other areas offer comprehensive care to adults, adolescents and children with concussions.
  • Concussion evaluation options. All Mayo Clinic campuses offer baseline concussion testing, comprehensive brain health evaluations, and detailed rehabilitation, wellness and performance programs for athletes before and after they have had concussions. Mayo Clinic in Arizona also offers teleconcussion services in which athletes can be evaluated remotely from anywhere in the world.
  • Concussion education. Mayo Clinic staff educates medical providers at local and national meetings about the importance of proper prevention, identification, treatment and rehabilitation from concussion.
  • Research. Mayo Clinic neurologists, sports medicine specialists and basic science researchers are studying the cellular basis of concussion and new strategies to diagnose concussion, measure brain recovery and identify new treatment strategies.

At Mayo Clinic, we assemble a team of specialists who take the time to listen and thoroughly understand your health issues and concerns. We tailor the care you receive to your personal health care needs. You can trust our specialists to collaborate and offer you the best possible outcomes, safety and service.

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical institution that reinvests all earnings into improving medical practice, research and education. We're constantly involved in innovation and medical research, finding solutions to improve your care and quality of life. Your doctor or someone on your medical team is likely involved in research related to your condition.

Our patients tell us that the quality of their interactions, our attention to detail and the efficiency of their visits mean health care — and trusted answers — like they've never experienced.

Why Choose Mayo Clinic

What Sets Mayo Clinic Apart

Watch Mayo Clinic neurologist David W. Dodick, M.D., explain the concussion testing program at Mayo Clinic in Arizona. Also watch Dr. Dodick and other Mayo Clinic doctors discuss autonomic tests and concussion management, return to play after a concussion, and concussions and women.

Mayo Clinic works with hundreds of insurance companies and is an in-network provider for millions of people. In most cases, Mayo Clinic doesn't require a physician referral. Some insurers require referrals or may have additional requirements for certain medical care. All appointments are prioritized on the basis of medical need.

Doctors trained in neurology, sports medicine and other areas evaluate and treat people with concussions at Mayo Clinic in Arizona.

The Comprehensive Concussion Program provides baseline concussion testing for junior high school, high school and club athletes in Arizona. For more information about baseline concussion testing or pricing, email concussion@mayo.edu.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 800-446-2279 (toll-free) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mountain Standard Time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in family medicine, sports medicine and other areas evaluate and treat people with concussions at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Computerized baseline concussion testing is available for athletes at Mayo Clinic in Florida for a small charge.

For appointments or more information, call the Central Appointment Office at 904-953-0853 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday or complete an online appointment request form.

Doctors trained in sports medicine, neurology and other areas evaluate and treat people with concussions at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. People who have complex or chronic health issues due to their concussion may be referred to specialists in brain rehabilitation.

The Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota provides baseline concussion testing for local high school, junior college and professional athletes in sports in the Rochester and southeast Minnesota region. There is a small charge for this testing.

For appointments or more information, contact the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota at 507-266-9384 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central time, Monday through Friday.

See information on patient services at the three Mayo Clinic locations, including transportation options and lodging.

Mayo Clinic doctors trained in brain and nervous system conditions (neurologists), physical medicine and rehabilitation, and other areas research tests and treatments for concussions. Read more about research in neurology and sports medicine .

Read about determining when the brain has recovered from concussion, sports-related concussions and diagnosing and treating sports-related concussions.

Hockey summit

The Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic in Minnesota hosted the Ice Hockey Summit: Action on Concussion in 2010. Concussion experts from the United States, Canada and Europe as well as representatives from the NHL and USA Hockey gathered to develop an action plan to reduce concussions in ice hockey. In a published article, experts made recommendations regarding action items to reduce concussions. Ice Hockey Summit II: Action on Concussion is scheduled to take place Oct. 8-9, 2013, at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.

Publications

See a list of publications by Mayo Clinic doctors on concussions on PubMed, a service of the National Library of Medicine.

May 15, 2013