Quick, Simple Test Can Detect Concussion in
SATURDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- A quick, simple test done
on the sidelines of sports events can accurately detect concussion
in athletes, a new study says.
The screening -- known as the King-Devick test -- is superior to
current sideline tests that can fail to assess a wide range of
brain functions, according to the researchers at the University of
Pennsylvania School of Medicine.
For this test, athletes are asked to read single digit numbers
on index-sized cards. Normally, it takes about one minute. Any
increase in the time needed to complete the test suggests the
athlete has suffered a concussion, particularly if the delay is
more than five seconds longer than the athlete's baseline test
The researchers said the test can detect impairments in eye
movement, attention, language and other symptoms of concussion.
This study of 39 boxers found that test times improved an average
of one second for those who didn't experience head trauma, but
worsened 11.1 seconds for those who did suffer head trauma and 18
seconds for those who were knocked out.
The study appears online in the journal
"This rapid screening test provides an effective way to detect early signs of concussion, which can improve outcomes and hopefully prevent repetitive concussions," senior author Dr. Laura Balcer, a professor of neurology, ophthalmology and epidemiology, said in a university news release.
"If validated in future studies, this test has the potential to become a standard sideline test for athletes," she added.
The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about
concussion in sports.
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