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Brain & Nervous System Health Center

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1-Minute Sideline Test Predicts Concussions

After Blow to Head, Eye Test Tells Whether Player Should Stay in Game

Concussion Test ID's Brain Damage Risk continued...

"If validated in future studies, this test has the potential to become a standard sideline test for athletes," senior study researcher Laura Balcer, MD, says in the news release.

Galetta, Balcer, and colleagues tried out the test on 27 boxers and 12 mixed-martial-arts fighters. All took the K-D test before and after a sparring bout (boxers) or a match (MMA fighters). A doctor with experience in both sports rated each participant for blows taken to the head.

Boxers and fighters who did not suffer head trauma actually did a little better on the second test than on the first. But those who took serious blows to the head did worse. A cutoff time of 5 seconds worse on the second test identified athletes who failed more intensive testing for concussion.

The test does not definitively diagnose concussion. But last November, the American Academy of Neurology called for any athlete suspected of having a concussion to be pulled from a game.

Because the concussion test takes less than two minutes, it could be done during a single football game time out. But will it really work in an actual game?

The Penn Quakers football team, men's and women's soccer teams, and men's and women's basketball teams are trying it out. Results won't be ready for this year's Super Bowl, but maybe next year Rodgers' coaches will feel a little bit less anxious about sending him back into the game if he takes a hit to the head.

The Galetta study appears in the April 26 issue of the journal Neurology.

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