Most of us don't have to worry about getting a concussion on a daily basis. But plenty do (think hockey and football players, infantrymen, etc.), and without quick diagnosis, can risk long-term brain damage if they go back into the field too soon.
A new screening method developed at the Georgia Tech Research Institute could make fast and easy diagnosis, right on the sidelines, far more common. The technique, which examines a person's cognitive and motor skills at the same time, will be presented this week at the SPIE Defense, Security and Sensing conference in Orlando, Fla.
Using a simple radar system--the kind police use to measure the speed of vehicles--the researchers found that they were able to pick up on differences between normal walking patterns and those impaired by alcohol, which has been found to have a similar effect on walking as concussion impairment.
To be clear, this preliminary study is just that, preliminary, with a sample size too small to offer information that is more than anecdotal. But the findings have given the researchers enough data to want to test their approach further.… Read more