Athletic concussions have been at the forefront of medical research for the last couple of years. The NFL has been the main culprit in the social spotlight as its athletes have become bigger, faster, stronger, and the hits have become more violent. More importantly than the violence has been the medical treatment given to players immediately after a big hit, but the answer might be on the horizon.
Recently, neurologists and ophthalmologists at the University of Pennsylvania discovered that a children’s reading test designed by Dr. Alan King and his colleague 35 years ago has the potential to become the next, big thing in concussion testing.
The King-Devick Test, which takes less than two minutes, requires a person to read single-digit numbers in a four-page flipbook while being timed.
University of Pennsylvania researchers found in a study of 39 boxers and mixed martial arts fighters, the times of those who experienced head trauma were significantly worse than those who were not struck in the head. According to the study, fighters who lost consciousness were 18 seconds slower on the test after their bouts.
King believes the test can be used in any sport where head injuries are prevalent, notably football and hockey.
He sees trainers, coaches and physicians being able to use the test on the sidelines during games to determine whether a possibly concussed athlete can continue playing. Researchers are viewing the King-Devick Test as a major step forward in helping diagnose concussions in a timely manner.
For more information on vision related symptoms of concussions, please contact Gordy EyeCare today.
image credit: Vlastula on flickr