New device could identify concussions in athletes

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a new medical device that could identify brain injuries in athletes in less than a minute. The product, which uses virtual reality to detect eye movement impairment, is designed for the sidelines of playing fields and could help protect football players and other athletes in West Virginia and nationwide.

The EYE-SYNC, which is made by SyncThink, does not diagnose concussions but instead detects visual disruptions that are consistent with brain injuries. Using a virtual reality headset, patients track a dot moving around a circle while a camera analyzes the way their eyes move. The eyes of concussion victims may not track the dot smoothly, jumping ahead to where the patient anticipates the dot is headed. If an athlete shows signs of visual impairment during a game, sideline personnel can pull them from the match and send them for medical evaluation.

Concussions continue to be a major concern in amateur and professional sports. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, almost 500,000 American children suffer traumatic brain injuries each year. Meanwhile, in January, the National Football League reported that player concussions were up 32 percent during the 2015 season compared to 2014.

A traumatic brain injury can cause long-term health issues, including mood disorders, headaches and cognitive problems. Although they are popularly associated with football and other contact sports, they can be caused by car accidents and sudden falls as well. An attorney can often assist a person whose injury was the result of another party's negligence in seeking compensation for medical bills and other losses.

Source: FOX News, "Eye-tracking device may lead to 60-second concussion diagnosis," Alexandria Hein, March 23, 2016

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