Baseline brain tests help keep student athletes healthy

School districts around the country are trying different approaches, including "baseline" testing to help monitor brain health.

Youth football season is underway, and that means keeping your eye not only on the ball but also concussion prevention for young athletes.

School districts across the country are trying different approaches, including "baseline" brain health testing to help monitor their student’s brain health.

"Concussions is a big hot button issue now a days, and to be able to do concussion testing for the junior high athletes, you know a lot of times junior high and kids sports are left out. We’re making sure the kids are properly managed, they're not going back in if they still have those concussion symptoms and further damaging themselves further down the road," says Jason Veil the director of physical training at the Davenport School District.

They're performing what's called baseline testing and that means establishing a so-called baseline that gives medical professionals a kind of blueprint of how each individual's brain should function.

"So what we do here is C-3-logic platform, what we do is test their balance, vision, both static and dynamic and so both head moving and normal vision, then we test their processing speeds, so it's kind of a symbols recognition, so they have to find the symbols, find the number, and match it up. Reaction time and a trails test," says Veil.

He says the baseline helps figure out just how serious a head injury is and when a student has recovered by comparing their current state to their original baseline test. Trainers keep the baseline information on a portable tablet so they can use them during games.

The tests are helping to ease everyone's mind, from coach to trainers and even students. They won't prevent a concussion. But, it can keep an athlete from playing too soon after injury.

There are nearly 4 million sports-related concussions each year.

Copyright 2016 KING


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