The Washington Post:
If you have a child playing ice hockey, lacrosse, soccer or football this fall, chances are good he or she has taken a computerized examination called ImPACT, for Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing.
About 2 million U.S. athletes of all ages have taken the test, which measures mental abilities such as word and shape recall, reaction time, attention and working memory. Athletes are given a baseline test at the start of a season; those who suffer a concussion are tested again before being allowed to return to play.
The increased prevalence of ImPACT reflects growing public unease about the state of our kids’ gray matter. News stories about brain-damaged former NFL football players and reports from Afghanistan and Iraq, where 200,000 U.S. service members have suffered head injuries over the past decade, have also raised concerns about concussions, which almost seem routine in some sports.
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