New post-concussion test for student athletes 92% accurate



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NEW YORK CITY — There's a new tool helping to determine when a concussed brain has healed enough to let kids get back to their sport: baseline balance testing.

If a student athlete returns to their sport before their brain is fully healed they run the risk of a second injury with potentially, dire consequences.

"Second impact syndrome is when you have a second head injury probably immediately following the first and there's actually brain swell that occurs and it can kill the person," said Dr. Audrey Paslow.

As Paslow explained, neurocongnitive testing done after an athlete suffers a concussion is good at determining recovery but the balance testing adds another layer of information.

By determining a child's balance abilities before injury, their balance can be measured post-concussion to help determine when their brains have fully healed.

"If you're interviewing someone, if you're just asking them a couple of questions on the sidelines and you're doing some of the neuro-cognitive testing," Paslow said, "right now studies show 65 percent sensitivity in terms of identifying the symptoms that we're looking for. Does this person have a concussion or do they not? If we add a balance testing it becomes 92 percent sensitive."

Read more: http://bit.ly/1r71YPw

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Benita Zahn
    NBC News

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