05:24am Wednesday 18 October 2017

Simple Test May Help Judge Concussion in Athletes

“Research has shown that reaction time is slower after a concussion—even as long as several days after other symptoms are gone,” said study author James T. Eckner, MD, of the University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in Ann Arbor. “But the tests currently used to measure reaction time require computers and special software.”

Eckner and his colleagues developed a simple, inexpensive device to measure reaction time: a cylinder attached to a weighted disk. The examiner releases the device and the athlete catches it as soon as possible.

For the study, the researchers gave the test to 209 Division I college football, wrestling and women’s soccer athletes during their preseason physicals. Then any athlete who had a concussion diagnosed by a physician during the season took the test again within three days of the concussion.

Eight athletes had concussions during the study. Of those, seven of the athletes had a prolonged reaction time after the concussion compared to the preseason time. Catching the object took about 15 percent longer.

“Because of its simplicity and low cost, this test may work well with youth athletes, where there is limited access to computerized testing of reaction time,” Eckner said.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Parkinson’s disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), dementia, West Nile virus, and ataxia. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology and the AAN Annual Meeting, visit http://www.aan.com.

###

Media Contacts
Angela Babb

Media & Public Relations Manager
ababb@aan.com
(651) 695-2789

Rachel Seroka

Media & Public Relations Administrator
rseroka@aan.com
(651) 695-2738


Share on:
or:

Health news