Posted January 26, 2016
Over 38 million concussions are reported every year in the United States. High school athletes account for about 300,000 of the injuries, with at least 33 percent occurring during team practices. Often concussion injuries are ignored because the victim doesn’t notice any external signs of brain injury. Athletes may return to the game and experience additional injury or health problems. According to HuffPost Sports, a new 2-minute test, called King-Devick, can be conducted quickly to identify a concussion.
Learn four key points about the test:
- Reliable – The King-Devick test originally was developed in the 1970s to detect dyslexia. However, researchers at New York University’s Langone Concussion Center recently discovered King-Devick is an effective test in diagnosing concussions, possibly better than current methods.
- Baseline – The key to detecting concussions is to have a baseline of test results obtained before a concussion occurs, such as at the beginning of a sports season.
- Easy to use – The King-Devick test is simple to conduct. The only materials required are a stopwatch, which most people have on their phones, and pre-printed sheets of paper. The papers contain numbers that kids or adults with a possible concussion read quickly from left to right while being timed. The times are compared to the baseline numbers.
- Seek help – If the injured person reads the numbers more slowly than the baseline results, even by just a few seconds, this could be a sign of a concussion. Researchers discovered that participants with a concussion took 5.2 seconds longer to complete the test. In comparison, those without a concussion read the numbers 6.4 seconds faster than their baseline test. The test results were found accurate 92 percent of the time.
In earlier studies, researchers determined that over 50 percent of brain activity supports vision performance. This supports the reliability of the King-Devick test, which is designed to detect changes in eyesight.
A concussion may not be apparent by a visual inspection. Know these common symptoms.