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New device could make diagnosing concussions easier

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved a new medical device for diagnosing concussions. According to The Star Tribune, the device is called the EyeBox, and it tracks patients’ eye movements to reveal whether they have suffered a concussion.

The EyeBox was created by Minnesota neurosurgeon, Dr. Uzma Samadani. Dr. Samadani noticed discrepancies in the way the human eye moves reveal information about brain dysfunction.

EyeBox scans eyes for abnormal movements

When using EyeBox, a patient watches a 4-minute video that moves around a screen, and the machine track’s the person’s eyes. Abnormal eye movements reveal brain problems like a concussion or other brain injuries.

For athletes, it is recommended they get a baseline concussion test. A baseline concussion test is given before an athlete starts a season to test things like memory, reaction time and mental processing times. Then if an athlete is injured, the baseline test is compared to the after-injury reactions. This reveals the severity of the injury, and if the athlete is suffering from a concussion.

It could eliminate some inaccuracies

For nonathletes, the likelihood of getting a baseline concussion test is very slim. Most people do not have this comparison when they go see a doctor. That might make results less accurate. If athletes want to return to the game, they may also try to manipulate the tests. The EyeBox would prevent such concerns.

It could be available to the public one day

Currently, the device is only being marketed to doctors. The FDA has approved its use for diagnosing concussions in patients age 5 to 67. Dr. Samadani hopes the EyeBox will someday be available for all consumers.

If you have suffered a head injury—whether in a vehicle accident or during a fall—you may have a concussion or another brain injury. If you experience these symptoms, it might be a concussion:

  1. Persistent headache

  2. Feeling confused or foggy

  3. Forgot about the accident

  4. Vomiting or upset stomach

  5. Slurring of speech

  6. Fatigue or trouble sleeping

  7. Feeling dizzy

  8. Having difficulty concentrating

  9. Easily agitated

  10. Sensitive to noises and lights

With these symptoms, it is important to visit a doctor immediately. He or she can evaluate you, determine the extent of your injuries and then provide treatment. Without proper treatment, a head injury can worsen.

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