Here are seven things to know about the role of neuropsychologists in concussion education and management:
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that "ideally a neuropsychologist should interpret the computerized or paper-pencil neuropsychological test components of the baseline exam."
- The National Athletic Trainers' Association recommends that a neuropsychologist should ideally be part of the sports-medicine team.
- "It is the official position of the American Academy of Clinical Neuropsychology (AACN), American Board of Professional Neuropsychology (ABN), the American Psychological Association (APA), and the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) that neuropsychologists should be included among the licensed healthcare professionals authorized to evaluate, clinically manage, and provide return to play clearance for athletes who sustain a sports-related concussion."
- Neuropsychologists created and implemented the first baseline and post-concussion testing programs, and the first neurocognitive testing program for professional sports.
- Neuropsychologists have conducted the most large-scale research over the past two decades in the area of concussion.
- The Consensus Statement of the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012 states that for the "Child and Adolescent Athlete...In this age group, it is more important to consider the use of trained paediatric neuropsychologists to interpret assessment data..."
- The chair of the concussion committees of the National Hockey League and the Major Soccer League are neuropsychologists.
For more about why neuropsychologists should be part of the clinical team managing concussion, click here.