Neurological Impairment by Concussion/Alcohol/Drugs (NICAD™)
The detection of those impaired by concussion, or of those driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, all share similar visual changes. Vision involves as many as 325 different areas of the brain and as much as 70% of the brain. Eye movements are affected before cognition is so it appears to be an earlier screening method.
There is no present standard for detection of concussion on the sidelines. Currently, there are two more commonly used sideline tests. The first is a subjective survey and cognitive test called the SCAT2 test. The second sideline test is a simple timed test of eye movements (saccades) while reading variously spaced numbers called the K-D Test. The assumption is that athletes will try their best every time they read. Athletes learn that they can alter the outcome of the K-D test by artificially slowing their reading time down when taking the pretest. By performing the pretest slowly the re-test following a potential concussion on the playing field can be taken slowly thereby giving a greater chance of passing the test even if they have a mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI). The K-D Test has the potential of false negatives and therefore not effective. 9,10
Our purpose in developing a new concussion test is to develop an objective test for concussions that cannot be manipulated by the subject. Since visual processing is so widely distributed in the brain, it is natural to use vision for concussion testing.