by Alexa Maldonado '17
For the second year, Fontbonne will be working with the Brain Trauma Foundation, in order to help students receive proper care, while studying the diagnosis and treatment processes of various brain injuries, specifically concussions. Last year, testing was available to any athlete that opted to participate.
Concussions are very serious injuries that are being taken too lightly. Concussion research has boomed. The amount of concussions that occur in high school athletes doubled within the last 10 years. Recently, more technological ways of diagnosing concussions have been tested out. Medical professionals have stressed the importance of fast detection to prevent serious head trauma in the future.
One device used to detect head trauma is called RightEye. It uses an eye tracking test in order to determine whether any trauma is present. It detects multiple health issues, some of which can go underlying for years to come. RightEye was created by Melissa Hunfalvay and Adam Gross. Some of the benefits of using the RightEye program are accessing immediate results, which can prevent athletes from going back into the game immediately after a collision. If slow eye movement is detected, a coach or parent can stop the athlete from getting furthermore injured.
Another tool used for athletes is the King-Devick Test. This test shows a series of cards that may be harder or easier to read, based off of the letter spacing. This system uses eye movement in order to detect a concussion. It was developed 40 years ago by Alan King and Steven Devick. It has been proven to be helpful in diagnosing other problems such as learning disabilities.
Members at University of Arizona have created an app that may be successful in diagnosing concussions. This app is called BrainGainz and was originally entered as part of the NCAA Mind Matters Challenge. It tasked participants with changing the opinions the younger generations have regarding concussions.
All of these systems are developing ways to help the future generations become aware about how traumatic a concussion could be, whether they play a contact sport or not. Even within the community, Fontbonne is becoming more proactive in helping athletes prevent permanent brain damage.