Why Get a Baseline?
Concussion Baseline Information
What is a concussion baseline?
A baseline is a fixed point of reference that is used for comparison purposes. Baseline concussion tests assess balance, brain function, visual acuity, concentration, and movement accuracy. There are numerous baseline concussion tests available. Each assesses some combination of cognitive processing, vision, and balance. Every type of test has areas of strength areas of weakness. If you or your child are extremely active in high-impact sports, a combination of tests may be your best option. The Dynavision D2 assesses current areas of strength and weakness in vision, balance, and movement.
How often should you get retested?
What to do after head impact?
Annually or after a head impact. Humans are constantly changing and growing. Testing annually will keep your baseline accurate
If there is any concern, seek professional medical help immediately. As healing begins, ask your doctor when it is time to add additional care and get a baseline recheck.
What, if anything, can be done after head impact to support healing?
New research is continuing to adjust best practices after a head impact. We do know that a cycle of movement and rest helps the body to heal. As vision is generally affected, eye exercises are often helpful. Vestibular work (orientation in space) can help with motion sickness. Cranial work can help with headaches. Primitive reflex exercises can be helpful in reorganizing the body and brain. Dietary changes can balance the microbiome in the gut which directly affects the brain. (Did you know we have more neurons in our belly than the head?) Mindfulness practices and breathwork are helpful in calming the fight or flight response that is often present after impact.
Why does it matter?
Every brain is unique. Without knowing the nuances of your brain, it is difficult to know what was affected by a head impact. The data collected during a baseline test helps medical professionals know how to best design your care plan after injure. Additionally, the results inform how and when you can safely return to various activities.
The Dynavision D2 light board measures performance and records the data to track improvement. M3K uses the D2 board for concussion baseline testing and post-impact tracking. The baseline test establishes computer-generated numbers for visual response, motor response, and physical response times with accuracy within 100th of a second. The test combines physical response, motor coordination, and visual acuity, including peripheral vision in a simultaneous single test. The D2 test does not include complex computation or neurocognitive skills.
Each of the specific skills tested provides a piece of the larger picture of overall brain function. Testing multiple skills simultaneously provides a clearer picture of a person's likely response doing a complex task (multi-tasking or split attention than testing several areas individually. If one or more areas of neurocognitive are functioning at a deficit, there is an impact on the entire task. Driving for example is a complex task. Safe driving requires visual acuity, accurate spatial assessment, rapid decision-making skills, tight motor coordination, and broad peripheral vision all working cohesively. The same is true when interacting on a field or court, and even while doing complex home maintenance tasks. The concurrent multifaceted D2 testing provides essential information for decisions surrounding return to play, driving safety, and engaging in other complex tasks.
Training on the D2 improves reaction times, visual-motor coordination, and peripheral awareness. By improving these skills, the user makes better faster and smarter decisions.
How is it used?
Results from baseline testing can be used if a person has a head impact with a suspected concussion. Comparing post-injury test results to baseline test results assist health care professionals in identifying the effects of the injury. Additionally, test data helps make an informed decision regarding one's return to activity.
What is a concussion?
"A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury- or TBI -caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head and brain to move rapidly back and forth. This sudden movement can cause the brain to bounce around or twist in the skull, creating chemical changes in the brain and sometimes stretching damaging brain cells." (CDC, 2019)
The word comes from the Latin concutere, meaning 'to shake violently'. Within the skull, the brain floats in a protective suspension of cerebrospinal fluid. A concussion occurs when either a direct impact or whiplash effect causes the brain to move inside the head and bump against the skull. Classic symptoms include confusion, loss of consciousness, disorientation, unsteadiness, dizziness, headache, and visual disturbances. Ultimately a concussion sets of what is known as the neurometabolic cascade. In simple terms, it means that the injured parts of the brain respond excitedly, overfiring certain synapses. Sometimes this results in the synapses burning out. (see M3Kinections website for more information and research)