Sunday, July 19, 2015

King-Devick Test Accurately Detects Concussions in Youth Athletes

King-Devick Test Accurately Detects Concussions in Youth Athletes 

Oakbrook Terrace, IL - A quick, accurate screening tool for concussion detection which can be easily performed on the sidelines has been further validated in a two recent studies published in the peer reviewed Journal of the Neurological Sciences on June 13, 2015 and July 2, 2015 respectively.  These studies evaluate sideline/pitch side screening of concussions in adolescent football and youth rugby. The King-Devick Test, a concussion tool screens for the often subtle signs of brain injury that disrupt the eyes' ability to accurately and efficiently move across a page upon the brain's command. Athletes are asked to read aloud single-digit numbers displayed on standardized test cards available electronically via mobile iPad and Android devices. The King-Devick in association with Mayo Clinic, requires smooth and precise eye movements between number targets, concentration, attention, recognition and rapid language ability, all of which can be affected during concussion.

In the study of high school football, researchers baseline tested over 300 student athletes across Southeast Michigan high school football teams. During the study, nine athletes were diagnosed with concussion. In all concussed athletes, King-Devick test performance was significantly worse than their baseline indicating the simple sideline tool is highly accurate in detecting concussion. 

More than 8000 miles away in New Zealand, a study of youth rugby, tested athletes with the King-Devick Test after matches to screen for unwitnessed, unreported concussions. In their previous work, researchers found unwitnessed concussion to have a nearly 6 times greater incidence than witnessed, reported concussions when regular post-match screening with King-Devick Test was used. The findings were similar in this group of 9 and 10 year old athletes. There were 7 instances of worse King-Devick Test performance after a match and all were medically identified concussions. Also similar to previous studies, an examination of the reliability of retest or tests conducted by different testers showed that the King-Devick test has high reliability. 

These studies further validate the King-Devick test as an accurate and easy to administer sideline screening tool for concussion which is particularly useful in younger athletes that are at higher risk of concussive injury and are not always afforded health care professionals on the sidelines. There have been more than 50 peer reviewed studies regarding the King-Devick Test which have been recently released.

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