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Eye-tracking test could diagnose concussions in 60 seconds

Ohio residents may be aware that medical tests that track the eye movements of those who have suffered a blow to the head are considered by many experts to be the best way to detect a concussion. The repeated helmet-to-helmet contact experienced by football players has been linked with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, and participants in other contact sports like rugby and boxing are also thought to have increased chances of developing CTE. Being able to quickly and accurately diagnose head injuries during a game or bout could greatly help doctors to protect athletes from preventable brain damage, and an eye tracking test developed by the Massachusetts-based company SyncThink promises to be able to do just that.

SyncThink says that its eye-tracking device will be able to diagnose a concussion in under a minute by detecting disruptions in the way test subjects interpret visual information. The head-mounted device, which is known as Eye-Sync, monitors the subject's eye movements as they follow objects in a virtual reality setting, and it was cleared by the FDA in January 2016. However, the company behind the innovative technology are quick to point out that brain injuries are extremely complex and cannot be adequately diagnosed with any single tool.

The data suggests that it is not just athletes who should be concerned about concussions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that about 500,000 children around the country suffer traumatic brain injuries each year, and the medical community has yet to agree upon a coordinated and comprehensive diagnostic approach.

Many of the head injuries suffered by American children occur as the result of car crashes or other types of accidents, and parents may pursue civil remedies when negligence played a part. However, establishing damages can be a challenge in lawsuits involving brain injuries, and personal injury attorneys may call upon medical experts to establish the possible long-term consequences of severe head trauma.

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