those cells have calmed down, patients can seek professional treatment from a functional neurologist. There are many alternatives to the ImPact Test. Videonystagmography (VNG), Computerized Dynamic Posturography ( CDP ), Saccadometry , and Gait Analysis are all objective tests that can be performed at a board certified functional neurologists office. A few of these tests were performed on me when I received my concussion two years ago. These tests are objective, which means that someone who is being analyzed with these specialized diagnostic tools cannot cheat their way through it, like the ImPact Test. For example, the VNG tracks the eye movement of the patient by wearing “ a set of infrared goggles... to detect signs of central nervous or neurological problems” (Addison Wellness 2). This person cannot “fake” their eye movements.
Michalopoulos 6 Athletes can “fake” the ImPact Test (A. Michalopoulos). There has been more discussion about preventing head injuries in sports than diagnosing them. Equipment companies constantly are updating the helmet technology in order to help prevent players from contracting a concussion. Players think “Oh, this helmet is new and amazing, there is no way I can ever get a concussion with this one!” But this is false. The greater the helmet technology, the greater the chance of the athlete to use their head as a “weapon” more often. Because they believe this, they think they will not get a concussion just because their helmet is more technologically advanced. A recent study found that “ old helmets that had been reconditioned within 12 months before use offered similar levels of protection as new helmets. However, players who used old helmets that had not been reconditioned recently had concussion symptoms for a longer period of time than those who wore new helmets” (Preidt 1). The same study also found that helmets with higher satisfaction and performance ratings and that were more high-tech performed similarly to helmets with low ratings and less technology (Preidt 1). It is shocking that football players, who wear helmets that have been scientifically tested and contain an excessive amount of padding, receive the most amount of concussions in any sport. Surprisingly, the sport in which players contract the least amount of concussions is rugby, a sport where there is no helmet and little to no padding. Since rugby players are aware that they do not have a helmet for protection, they are less likely to use their head as a weapon during a game, hence contracting less concussions (Brock). One study suggests that football players should practice without their helmets. This approach would encourage players to refrain from using their heads as weapons. Study author Erik Swartz, chair of kinesiology at the University of New Hampshire says, “It's natural. By doing these drills without helmets, we take advantage of their [players'] vulnerability when their heads aren't protected. They'll naturally keep their heads out of
Michalopoulos 7 contact” (HealthDay News). Players need to start thinking with their head instead of
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- Winter '08
- Traumatic brain injury