PORTLAND -- Athletes around Oregon are preparing for two-a-day football workouts next week.
In the meantime, many will take brain function tests designed to help show doctors when athletes have recovered from concussions.
Dr. Jim Chesnutt, the director of the OHSU Sports Medicine Clinic, is a main force behind the testing.
“A lot of times symptoms go away before the brain function gets better and that's where the impact tests help, and the cog-state tests help us to understand that the brain's not back to normal," he said.
The most common test in the Portland area is called Impact. It was started by a group of doctors in Pittsburgh. Its now widely used by professional sports leagues, including the NFL.
The test includes a series of memory challenges. Several words are flashed on the computer screen one at a time.
Athletes are later exposed to another series of words and asked which were part of the first group.
A second module involves shapes.
Central Catholic High School junior David Mack failed his Impact test after suffering a concussion during a soccer playoff game.
“I could tell it was a little bit harder. I didn’t tell my mom it was harder," he said. "I think I did fine, but I could tell it was harder to complete it."
Mack missed 12 weeks of play until he could meet the baseline set by his preseason Impact test.
Its one of many examples of how the test is helping coaches and doctors and families know when athletes are ready for competition.