Inova to provide free baseline concussion testing for Loudoun athletes | Headlines

Inova to provide free baseline concussion testing for Loudoun athletes | Headlines

Inova will provide every high school athlete in Loudoun County Public Schools with a free baseline concussion test for the 2023-24 school year.

The health system and the school district announced the plan Thursday. All 14,000 student-athletes will be given free neurocognitive baseline testing before activities with the goal of improving concussion management for the student-athletes.

Baseline concussion testing assesses an athlete’s cognitive function through a preseason cognitive test on a computer. If the athlete sustains a concussion, this “snapshot” of cognitive performance can be compared to that person’s post-injury cognitive test scores, rather than normative data, to better determine improvement and/or deterioration during recovery.

The Inova Concussion Program has the largest clinical patient research registry in the country, according to a news release. Current research projects are investigating the efficacy of targeted treatments, the use of mobile technology in concussion recovery and the long-term effects of concussions on youth athletes.

“This initiative will improve concussion care along the entire patient journey, and help improve outcomes in the long run,” said Dr. Melissa Womble, co-director of Inova’s Concussion Program. “We frequently observe, and our research supports, that student-athletes with undetected concussions continue to play, delay clinical care and are prescribed antiquated management recommendations, ultimately experiencing worse recovery outcomes. The primary goal for Inova in this partnership is to ensure student-athletes get appropriate care and can get back to doing the sport they love as quickly as possible.”

The partnership will allow the Inova Concussion Program to work directly with the school system to enhance concussion care at every point of the injury.  

A webinar on concussions for all middle and high school-aged athletes in Loudoun and their families has been scheduled for Sept. 21. Details are available here.

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