Neuropsychological Assessment Following Concussion: an Evidence‐Based Review of the Role of Neuropsychological Assessment Pre- and Post-Concussion
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Neuropsychological evaluation is one component of a comprehensive and multifaceted assessment following concussion. Although some neuropsychologists use a “hybrid” assessment approach integrating computerized neurocognitive testing batteries with traditional paper and pencil tests, computerized neurocognitive test batteries are the predominant testing modality for assessment of athletes from the youth to professional level. This review summarizes the most recent research supporting the utility of neuropsychological evaluation and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of both computerized and traditional neuropsychological testing approaches. The most up to date research and guidelines on baseline neurocognitive testing is also discussed. This paper addresses concerns regarding reliability of neuropsychological testing while providing an overview of factors that influence test performance, both transient situational factors (e.g., pain level, anxiety) and characteristics of particular subgroups (e.g., age, preexisting learning disabilities), warranting the expertise of an experienced neuropsychologist for interpretation. Currently, research is moving forward by integrating neuropsychological evaluation with emerging assessment approaches for other domains of brain function (e.g., vestibular function) vulnerable to concussion.
KeywordsNeuropsychological evaluation Neurocognitive tests Concussion Sport Computerized assessment battery Baseline
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Anthony P. Kontos declares grant support from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, and grant support from the GE-NFL Head Health Initiative.
Alicia Sufrinko, Melissa Womble, and Nathan Kegel declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
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