New concussion screening tool can be used ‘in the field’


A fast, accurate and objective new test  to assess concussion in athletes at sporting events has been licensed by the Mayo Clinic.

The new screening tool, developed by King-Devick Test Inc. in the USA, can be administered on the sidelines by anyone, and requires an athlete to read single-digit numbers displayed on cards or tablet computer.

concussionUnder the terms of the agreement, the King-Devick Concussion Screening Test will be formally recognized as the King-Devick Test In Association With Mayo Clinic.

After suspected head trauma, the athlete is given the King-Devick Test, which takes about two minutes, and the results are compared to a baseline test administered previously. If the time needed to complete the test takes longer than the baseline test time, or if the subject shows any other symptoms of a concussion, the athlete should be removed from play until evaluated by a medical professional. A new baseline is required annually.

Peer reviewed published research has shown that The King-Devick Test requires eye movements, speech, language, and concentration, all of which can be impaired as a result of concussion. Recently more than 20 studies showing the effectiveness of the test as a quick, objective and accurate “remove from play” sideline test have been presented or published in elite scientific journals. Numerous other recent studies have been published regarding King-Devick Test as it relates to MS, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, hypoxia, extreme sleep deprivation and reading fluency. Under the agreement, Mayo Clinic will provide ongoing medical consultation in future development of the test.

“Studies have indicated that the King-Devick test is an effective tool for the real-time evaluation of concussion because it looks at rapid eye movement and attention – both are affected by concussions,” says David Dodick, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and director of Mayo Clinic’s concussion program.

“Most importantly, the test is affordable and can easily be used by any youth sports league, and administered by non-medical personnel. And youth athletes are at a higher risk for concussion and a longer recovery time than adults.”

The King-Devick Test has also been proven to detect un-witnessed, un-reported and “silent” concussions in athletes.

“Concussion guidelines are rapidly changing. Just a few years ago, athletes were expected to ‘shake it off’ and continue to play after suffering a concussion or a ‘ding’.” Dr. Dodick said.

“Today, we now know that it is unsafe for any athlete to return-to-play the same day they have suffered a concussion, and it is recommended that every athlete not return-to-play until they have been cleared by an appropriate professional.”

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