According the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency department visits for sports – and recreation – related traumatic brain injuries, including concussions, among children and adolescents, increased by 60 percent in the last decade. In an effort to improve concussion diagnosis and treatment, Montgomery County Public Schools is partnering with Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland on a concussion program for county high schools.

The program provides all high school athletes with a baseline neurocognitive exam prior to their respective sports season. Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital will administer the baseline exams at 13 of the 25 Montgomery County high schools, providing testing to more than 600 athletes in each school. The exams assess functions including learning, problem solving and memory skills as well as concentration ability. In the event that an injury occurs, the exams will be used in comparison with post-injury tests.

“A concussion is a type traumatic brain injury,” says Shital Pavawalla, Ph.D., neuropsychologist and clinical director of the Concussion Assessment and Management Program at Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital of Maryland. “It is vital that anyone who thinks they may have a concussion undergo timely evaluation and appropriate care to ensure a safe return to play and daily activities. The baseline testing serves as an important tool for assisting with diagnosis and treatment planning.”

Earlier this year, Adventist Rehabilitation Hospital started a Concussion Assessment and Management Program at its Rockville location. The program offers concussion diagnosis and treatment for adults ages 14 or older who have incurred a head injury from sports, motor vehicle accidents, falls or other head trauma.

Learn the signs of a concussion so you can stay safe on and off the field.