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Troy Polamalu Passes Concussion Test. What’s a Concussion Test?

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Pittsburgh Steelers Safety Troy Polamalu

Oh okay...

Football superhero safety Troy Polamalu was shaken up in the Steelers last game but has now passed his concussion test and could play in this week’s game. As I saw that news, I wondered what in the hell is involved with the concussion test. Well actually I wondered the last time Michael Vick passed the test, but this time I was actually not being too lazy to look it up.

Long story short, the test the NFL uses is the imPACT test. Some teams use the computerized version, others use paper and pencil. Don’t know how many teams use which version. I hopped over to the tests’ web site, and grabbed this info for those of you like me who have never had a concussion test and weren’t smart enough to guess what all it would involve.

The test:

  • Measures player symptoms
  • Measures verbal and visual memory, processing speed and reaction time
  • Reaction time measured to 1/100th of second
  • Assists clinicians and athletic trainers in making difficult return-to-play decisions
  • Provides reliable baseline test information
  • Automatically stores data from repeat testing
  • Takes About 20 minutes to complete
  • Measures multiple aspects of cognitive functioning in athletes, including:
  1. Attention span
  2. Working memory
  3. Sustained and selective attention time
  4. Response variability
  5. Non-verbal problem solving
  6. Reaction time

Some of the modules include:

  • Module 1: Word Memory
  • Module 2: Design Memory
  • Module 3: X’s and O’s
  • Module 4: Symbol Matching
  • Module 5: Color Match
  • Module 6: Three Letter Memory

Essentially the test aims to find out whether the player is having issues commonly associated with concussions like memory loss etc. You’re welcome!

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