Concussions are in the national spotlight for the damage being done to student and professional athletes. Determining when an athlete should be removed from play is a major challenge in preventing injury.
Athletes routinely deny symptoms. The CDC estimates that between 1.6 and 3.8 million students have concussions every year.
In an effort to bring both awareness and increased screening, Mayo Clinic has agreed to a licensing agreement with King-Devick Test, which has developed a proven indicator of ocular motor, visual and cognitive function for concussion detection and evaluation on the sidelines of sporting events to help with the decision to sideline athletes to prevent injury.
Under the terms of the agreement, the King-Devick Concussion Screening Test will be formally recognized as the King-Devick Test In Association With Mayo Clinic. The King-Devick Test is a quick, accurate and objective concussion screening tool that can be administered on the sidelines by parents, coaches, athletic trainers, school nurses and medical professionals.
"Studies have indicated that the King-Devick Test is an effective tool for the real-time evaluation of concussion because it looks at rapid eye movement and attention – both are affected by concussions," says David Dodick, M.D., Mayo Clinic neurologist and director of Mayo Clinic’s concussion program.
"It’s a privilege to be associated with the premier health care brand in the world," says Steve Devick, founder and CEO of King-Devick Test.
The test requires an athlete to read single-digit numbers displayed on cards or tablet computer. After suspected head trauma, the athlete is given the test, which takes about two minutes, and the results are compared to a baseline test administered previously.
If the time needed to complete the test takes longer than the baseline test time, or if the subject shows any other symptoms of a concussion, the athlete should be removed from play until evaluated by a medical professional. A new baseline is required annually.
Numerous other recent studies have been published regarding King-Devick Test as it relates to MS, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, hypoxia, extreme sleep deprivation and reading fluency. Under the agreement, Mayo Clinic will provide ongoing medical consultation in future development of the test.
The King-Devick Test has also been proven to detect un-witnessed, un-reported and "silent" concussions in athletes.