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ImPACT - Sports Concussion Safety Program

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Sports Concussion Safety Program

The Sports Concussion Safety Program is the only one of its kind in metro Detroit, taking a proactive and sophisticated approach to concussions.

Henry Ford experts know that concussions can alter an athlete's quality of life, and can even be life-threatening, without a fast and accurate diagnosis that guides treatment and return-to-play decisions. We also know the risk is great: Each year, approximately 15 percent of athletes who participate in contact sports suffer a concussion. High school and younger athletes are particularly vulnerable. Recovery time from a sports concussion varies. In fact, studies show that even mild sports concussions: Grade 1 (where there was no loss of consciousness and no symptoms 15 minutes after the concussion) can take 7-10 days to recover from. Therefore, appropriate testing is necessary to note when recovery has actually occurred. This is important because an athlete has the potential of having longer-term deficits or problems if they sustain another concussion before they have completely healed from the prior one.

Sports concussions are an elusive neurological disorder that are difficult to detect. Common tests such as a neurological examination, EEG, or CT or MRI of the brain often miss detecting a concussion. Sophisticated computerized testing specifically designed for detecting the effects of sports concussion are considered the most sensitive and reliable in diagnosing a sports concussion and more importantly when an athlete has recovered from a concussion and can return to play.

What Is ImPACT

ImPACT (Immediate Post-concussion and Cognitive Testing) is a 25-30 minute state-of-the art software program designed to detect the presence of sports concussions. It was developed by neuropsychologists and specialists at the University of Pittsburgh and Henry Ford Health System.

How ImPACT Works

Unlike most hospitals that use conventional imaging technology, such as CT and MRI scans which do not detect concussion, Henry Ford's Sports Concussion Safety Program employs proven, state-of-the-art computer technology called ImPACT to make a more precise diagnosis. Here's how ImPACT works:


  1. Before a sports season begins, neuropsychologists administer ImPACT testing to obtain baseline data of an athlete's symptoms, memory, reaction time, and other cognitive function.
  2. If an athlete sustains a concussion during the season, he or she undergoes another ImPACT test. By comparing these results to his or her pre-season baseline data, neuropsychologists can determine the severity of concussion, design an appropriate treatment plan, and determine when the young athlete can return to play.
  3. The athlete, if needed, then meets with a sports medicine physician for a concussion rehabilitation program, and this information is shared with the primary care physician, athletic trainer and coach.

Want to get started

Henry Ford now offers web-based ImPACT testing.

Access ImPACT

Who Uses ImPACT

ImPACT currently is used by athletes around the world, and by more than 900 professional, collegiate, Olympic and high school programs.

Henry Ford designs programs for individual athletes, and for organized high school, college, professional teams and clubs.

If You Already Have a Concussion

If you suspect you have a concussion, or have been diagnosed with a concussion and would like a second opinion, the Sports Concussion Safety Program can help. Even without baseline testing, ImPACT testing allows us to make a more accurate diagnosis and develop a comprehensive treatment and recovery plan.

Why Choose Henry Ford

  • The program is fast and comprehensive. Same-day and 24-hour appointments are available.
  • Our neuropsychologists and physicians are widely recognized for their sports concussion expertise. They frequently publish research in medical journals, serve as resources for media stories, and are invited to speak at international and national conferences.
  • Henry Ford doctors are the official team physicians for the Detroit Tigers, Lions, Red Wings, and Detroit Demolitions.

For more information about the Sports Concussion Safety Program or to schedule an appointment within 24 hours, call (313) 876-2526.