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Preseason brain function testing puts some parent's concussion fears at ease

Testing an athlete's brain function before the season gives a baseline for not only diagnosing concussions but treating them.

PHOENIX — Alan Soukup is late for football practice, but his excuse might be more important than any drill he is missing. 

Soukup is participating in baseline brain function testing at Banner University Medical Center.

"I know I have to do it because if I do get a concussion, this can really help the doctors," Soukup said. 

Over the course of 20 minutes, the middle-school tight end is answering several simple questions to test his cognitive level. 

The score he receives will be stored in his file in the unfortunate event he suffers a concussion.

"Our goal with baseline testing is to get some objective measurements where we can compare someone to themselves to make sure they are completely better," Dr. Evan Werk with Banner Health says.

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The testing is becoming more and more common in all sports, especially football, hockey and soccer.