WUFT News

Free Baseline Concussion Testing Helps Improve Concussion Severity Diagnoses

By on September 24th, 2013

Robbie Del Castillo, 21, suffered his first concussion while playing lacrosse during his senior year of high school. In the past year, he’s had three more.

Del Castillo has never taken a baseline concussion test, a test that analyzes different domains of the brain prior to injury as a basis for diagnosing potential future injury, nor has he heard of it.

“When I went to the doctor, there was no actual data on how much I had regressed, besides me saying I didn’t feel the same anymore,” he said.

In order to improve diagnoses of concussion severity, organizations Athlete Brain and Health IMPACTS for Florida have teamed to provide free baseline concussion testing for children between the ages of 9 and 18.

The goals of Athlete Brain are to improve education about concussions and provide baseline concussion testing to the community.

Health IMPACTS for Florida was established by the University of Florida and Florida State University to conduct research and better the health of Floridians.

The baseline concussion test takes about 15 minutes and looks at the different domains of the brain that are affected by concussions, said Aliyah Snyder, founder of Athlete Brain and research coordinator for Health IMPACTS for Florida. Learning and memory are tested with a written test, and balance and coordination are tested with a physical test.

The Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT) is used to analyze the tests. A new and recently developed version of the tool, SCAT3, was used to analyze the baseline concussion tests done by Athlete Brain during the past month. As of now, Athlete Brain has collected data from about 30 children using the SCAT3.

Between 15 and 20 children were tested on Saturday, some as young as 5 years old.

Athlete Brain and Health IMPACTS for Florida usually provide free baseline concussion testing once a month in hopes of collecting enough data to create a normative database, Snyder said.

Testing began in August 2011 with the SCAT2, but have since switched to the SCAT3. Establishing norms will allow doctors to better diagnose the severity of the injuries of patients who have not taken the test, she said.

Dr. Jason Zaremski of the UF Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation practices at the UF Health Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute. He said baseline concussion testing is important because doctors are able to get a cognitive and physical assessment of young athletes.

“It is very helpful to have a broad picture of what my patient was like before a concussion,” Zaremski said.

Free baseline concussion testing will be offered on Sept. 26 at F.W. Buchholz High School, 5510 NW 27th Ave. in Gainesville, for the women’s lacrosse team.

Baseline concussion testing is not limited to athletes. Snyder said it’s easy to get a concussion no matter who you are.

“You can get a concussion as easily by walking down the street and tripping over your own feet as you can by getting hit in the head with a soccer ball,” Snyder said.


This entry was posted in Health and Science. Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Health and Science

The completed henna design on Lilia Lima's head is entirely free-handed by artist and pre-med student Jeena Karr. Safe, beautiful and fresh, the art gives cancer patients like Lima a new way to feel beautiful.

Henna Artist Gives Cancer Patients Crowns Of Beauty

A University of Florida student combines faith and spirituality with the ancient art of henna to comfort cancer patients. Jeena Karr uses henna paste made from the flowering plant, Lawsonia inermis, to create intricate designs on the heads of those who have lost their hair due to chemotherapy.


IMG_4480

UF Health Plans For Future

UF Health’s five-year strategic plan “The Power of Together” will connect the healthcare community in order to provide quality patient care and improve academic research and interdisciplinary education efforts.


Gov. Rick Scott’s Hospital Commission To Meet For First Time

Gov. Rick Scott wants the federal government to extend hospital funds .The panel, which met for the first time Wednesday, is beginning its work as the governor becomes increasingly antagonistic toward hospitals that receive taxpayer funds.


Congressional Hearing Planned On Lip Showdown

A congressional committee will hold a hearing on Gov. Rick Scott’s showdown with the federal government over health-care funding. However, that meeting could come too late to help close a potential $2.2 billion hole in the state budget.


Drone

UF Ph.D. Students Developing Brain Robot Interaction Technology

Two 25-year-old Ph.D. students at the University of Florida are developing software to control machines to be used as life-enhancers to any operator. The purpose of Brain Computer Interface technology is be an assistant to humans on an everyday basis, especially those with disabilities.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments