More than a million athletes experience a concussion in the U.S. each year. Researchers in Southern California are looking at a new way to diagnose concussions in athletes quickly and more easily.
La Sierra High School junior Kordell Ross says he blacked out after making a tackle in football practice last year.
“They had me try to remember five words and I couldn’t remember any of them and then they made me stand up and try to walk, but I couldn’t do it,” says Ross.
Ross is part of a study testing a faster way to detect concussions. It involves this headset called a Transcranial Doppler Device. It uses ultrasound to map blood flow changes in the brain.
“The brain very good at regulating blood flow and during a concussion it impairs the ability of the brain to regulate blood flow,” says Robert Hamilton, Ph.D., study author and co-founder of Neural Analytics.
The study, conducted by the company Neural Analytics, compared ultrasounds of more than 200 high school athletes. The technology was able to tell if a player had a concussion 83 percent of the time.
Researchers say the ultimate goal would be to use the portable ultrasound headset on the sidelines so coaches can determine if an injured athlete needs more tests.
“Right now, we’re in the research phase of this,” says Hamilton.
Ross’ football coach Scott Altenberg says the headset would help him do his job.
“Tools like this are tools I think are going to go a long way to making coaches and everyone feel like we have a handle on this.”
And help better protect his athletes so they can keep pursuing their dreams.