Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Dr. Maroon’s ImPACT Testing Part of ‘Hocus Pocus Concussion Remedy’: Author-Blogger Matt Chaney

[posted 4/23/11 to]

Matt Chaney’s piece today, “Critics, Evidence Debunk ‘Concussion Testing’ in Football,” suggests that I have been far too kind in my criticisms of the ImPACT system developed by National Football League and World Wrestling Entertainment doctor Joseph Maroon.

The article is at Some highlights:

* A peer-reviewed article in Current Sports Medicine Reports by Loyola University’s Dr. Christopher Randolph details ImPACT’s “glaring faults,” with unacceptable rates of false-positives and false-negatives.

* Chaney: “An overwhelming majority of journalists, politicians, educators and football experts ignore the accumulating evidence rebuking concussion testing as invalid and unreliable, choosing instead to endorse the quick-fix notion and push it for mandate by law.”

* Generally speaking, the neuropsych tests on the market “are unsuitable for clinical work with concussions,” according to Dr. Lester Mayers of Pace University.

* Dr. Bennet Omalu, who discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in athletes in contact sports, says, “ImPACT testing is not a diagnosis tool…. Using [computerized] testing in the acute phase of injury can actually make the symptoms worse.”

Chaney also takes a shot at Chris Nowinski’s Sports Legacy Institute and Boston University’s Dr. Robert Cantu; the blogger calls them “current purveyors” of the theory that modifying the behavior and tackling techniques of football players can fundamentally alter the public health risks of football.

Irv Muchnick

1 comment:

Bio-Applications LLC said...

Problems with the use of CNT (Comprehensive Neurocognitive Tests)like ImPACT and SCAT effectiveness are noted in Nuero. Journals.

Introductions in 2012 of "new technology" SBI mitigation products like Ridell HITS System helmets, x2Impact shock sensing mouth guard, Battle's mouth guard, and helmet mounted shock sensing devices like "impact-alert" and Shockbox will change football on all levels. SIS can kill and injure for life. But every "big hit" is not a "game ender" and increasing use of "Shock Warning" devices is expected to lead to millions of "false positives" for completely asmptomatic athletes.

After 20 years of, "If in doubt, sit them out,", still sometimes results in "lack of doubt". The new devices will bring new safety to impact sports at all levels of play. But new problems as well.

The new generation of mouth guards, helmets and chin straps is about to start beeping and flashing and even ringing up mom's smart phone, when there is a "big hit". With 4 million footballers playing and practicing 70 days a season, and rapid adoption of these new product lines, we should soon expect literally millions of "false positives" every season.

Don Hennig, Portland, OR