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

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 http://blog.4wallspublishing.com/2011/04/23/critics-evidence-debunk-concussion-testing-in-football.aspx. 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

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