SAN ANTONIO -

A test administered to athletes before they begin competition can help doctors diagnose and treat concussions.

Dr. Evan Ratner, who took an interest in concussions after his niece suffered one playing lacrosse, has been administering the pre-screenings for free, hoping to prevent long-term brain damage in young athletes.

“The point is not whether or not you get a concussion. It's how you manage it. You want to make sure you're resting the brain properly and taking all the steps, and that you're not going back before it's safe to go back,” said Ratner.

Ratner said the test, which records a patient’s response and reaction to simple memory questions, establishes a base line for that person’s brain activity.

Comparing the athletes’ pre-concussion test results with post-concussion results can help a doctor determine both the severity of the injury and whether the athlete is ready to resume physical activity, Ratner said.

“The point is not whether or not you get a concussion. It's how you manage it. You want to make sure you're resting the brain properly and taking all the steps, and that you're not going back before it's safe to go back,” Ratner said.

Ratner, who works out of Impact Urgent Care, said he will continue to administer the pre-screenings at no cost or obligation.