Computerized test helps diagnose athlete's head injuries - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Computerized test helps diagnose athlete's head injuries

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

This year more than 100 students at Deerfield-Windsor took an Impact Test that examines a student's word and visual memory.

"The word memory is more of letters and numbers and the visual is more like the arrows pointing in different directions so it tests different parts of their memory, their reaction time and different cognitive functions."

Students admit the test can be pretty difficult.

"Some of the sections are very easy but then other sections of the test are pretty hard."

The test establishes a baseline for each student.  If a head injury is suspected, the student is retested.

"The test usually takes 25 to 30 minutes so they will do the baseline test and during the season if they sustain an injury we can go back and give them another test and go back and compare to give us an idea of how the brain is functioning."

So far this year they've had about a dozen head related injuries, most of those occurring from football.

Howell Logan is a freshman and says he recently suffered a head injury while inner tubing.

"I was tubing with my friend and we hit a wave and bumped heads."

Luckily Logan had taken the baseline test.

"I came to Jeff and took it again and he told me I had a concussion."

Tanner says the test allows them to be more specific with each case.

"This does help us kind of track the previous head injuries it tracks how many they've had so it helps us in that aspect, it also helps us on a case by case basis. We can see how they are functioning now compared to before and now."

Knowing first hand how the test can be helpful, Logan encourages everyone to talk it seriously.

"You need to take it seriously so whenever you do have a head injury they know if you do or don't and it can help you out in the long run."

Recently the governor signed the "return to play act" into law.  It requires athletes to be taken out of a game if they're suspected of having a concussion.

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