After a concussion, even one that is not an emergency, time is of the essence in evaluating the presence, severity, and treatment options of the injury. At the Weill Cornell Concussion and Brain Injury Clinic, we evaluate patients promptly after the suspected or diagnosed concussion. The services offered include:
An initial telephone intake, in which a neuropsychologist or neurologist will take a comprehensive history of the injury, including factors for assessing the severity and prognosis, and make recommendations for follow-up. An in-person appointment, if needed, is usually available the same day or the next day after that initial call.
An in-person evaluation by a neurologist specializing in concussion to review the history and any imaging and conduct a neurological exam. Based on the results of the evaluation, the neurologist may make recommendations for follow-up appointments with specialists that could include:
- An MRI with a diffusion tensor imaging sequence to look for subtle signs of cortical and subcortical injury
- A headache specialist
- A vision specialist
- A balance specialist
An in-person evaluation by a neuropsychologist to review any prior testing (computerized or face-to-face) and then to:
- perform face-to-face, pencil-and-paper testing of attention, memory, visuo-motor speed, and other mental abilities affected by concussion
- administer a screening with a computerized test battery of cognitive abilities. The battery (ANAM) includes quantitative assessment of reaction time, choice reaction time, sustained concentration, and working memory. ANAM was developed by the government and has far more independent research on its reliability and sensitivity to concussion than proprietary batteries like IMPACT, which, despite its popularity, is backed by research performed mostly by its developers.
The initial evaluation and assessment results in a Roadmap to Recovery, which is a personalized plan for returning to work, play, or school, and getting back to full functioning.