Abstract

A mild traumatic brain injury in sports is typically referred to as a concussion. This is a common injury in amateur and professional athletics, particularly in contact sports. This injury can be very distressing for the athlete, his or her family, coaches, and school personnel. Fortunately, most athletes recover quickly and fully from this injury. However, some athletes have a slow recovery, and there are reasons to be particularly concerned about re-injury during the acute recovery period. Moreover, some athletes who have experienced multiple concussions are at risk for long-term adverse effects. Neuropsychologists are uniquely qualified to assess the neurocognitive and psychological effects of concussion. The National Academy of Neuropsychology recommends neuropsychological evaluation for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of sports-related concussion at all levels of play.

Author notes

The working group of authors for this paper was comprised of neuropsychologists who are expert in this field, some of whom have researched and/or developed particular tests for use in sports concussion testing. The National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) and the authors of this position paper advocate the use of neuropsychological evaluation in the management of sports concussion. This paper, however, is not meant to advocate or recommend any particular neuropsychological test or vendor of neuropsychological testing. This paper has been peer-reviewed and edited by members of the NAN Policy and Planning Committee. The Policy and Planning Committee of the National Academy of Neuropsychology (NAN) is charged with writing position papers regarding important issues that impact the profession of Neuropsychology. Possible topics for the Position Papers are suggested by the NAN Board of Directors, members of the NAN Policy and Planning Committee, or individual Academy members. Primary authors are identified and approved by the NAN Policy and Planning Committee. These authors typically are experts on the topic and can come from within or outside the Policy and Planning Committee. Primary authors, Policy and Planning Committee members, and selected outside reviewers provide extensive peer review for all papers. All topics and the final paper submissions are reviewed and approved by the NAN Board of Directors.
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Donna K. Broshek, University of Virginia School of Medicine, United States; Shane S. Bush, Long Island Neuropsychology, P.C., United States; Sandra P. Koffler, Drexel University College of Medicine, United States; Cecil R. Reynolds, Texas A&M University, United States; Cheryl H. Silver, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, United States.