The current recommended treatment for concussion involves:

  • Rest (mental and physical)
  • Mayo Concussion Test and Post-Concussion Symptoms Scale

Timely diagnosis and prompt treatment can help prevent more-serious concussion complications. Obtaining pre-injury baseline data on athletes who engage in contact sports can make the sideline assessment more accurate. Mayo Clinic’s Sports Medicine Center performs baseline testing on high school athletes involved in high-risk sports as part of their preseason physicals.

Baseline assessments include a brief cognitive test (the Mayo Concussion Test), a computer-based neuropsychological test, and the Post-Concussion Symptoms Scale.

These data are available during games and in the clinic and provide medical personnel with a pre-injury reference point from which to judge an athlete’s status following a concussion. If a concussion is suspected, Mayo Clinic sports medicine specialists follow a protocol for evaluating and treating athletes of all ages.

Protocol for evaluating and treating suspected concussion in an athlete

  • Remove the athlete from competition immediately and do not allow him or her to resume play for the remainder of the game.
  • Perform the Mayo Concussion Test and the Post-Concussion Symptoms Scale on-site and compare the results with the athlete’s baseline data.
  • Monitor for worsening of symptoms and/or focal neurologic deficits, including weakness and sensory change, every 15 to 30 minutes during the first several hours after injury.
  • If symptoms worsen, the athlete should be transported to an emergency department for further evaluation, because changes may suggest an injury more serious than a conc
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