The long-term effects of concussions and head-trauma have gotten a lot of attention over the past year, but current student football players may have less to worry about. A concussion test is being researched for its potential use by coaches during games. According to a 2009 study, more than 40 percent of high school students return to action too soon following a concussion.
Known as the Kind-Devick (K-D) test, the diagnostic tool uses single digit numbers displayed on index-sized cards to measure eye movement, attention and language. Players would take the test once at the beginning of the season to get a baseline reading. In the event of a concussion, the amount of time it take to complete the test decreases. Researchers say the K-D test is less subjective than other exams.
“This rapid screening test provides an effective way to detect early signs of concussion, which can improve outcomes and hopefully prevent repetitive concussions,” says lead author Laura Balcer, professor of neurology at the University of Pennsylvania. Some of the preliminary research was performed on boxers, and now will be expanded to college football and basketball. Returning to the field too soon after a concussion can slow healing and put players at risk for further injury.
Via USA Today.
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