It has been said that the eyes are the window to the brain but can the eyes be the window to brain injuries as well?
As seen in the World Cup finals match between the USA and Japan, when two players attempting to head the ball instead head-butted each other, they were each required to pass concussion tests in order to continue playing in the game. What did those tests consist of? Well, we’re glad you asked. They consisted of various eye-tracking exercises to rule out any concussion-like symptoms, like following the trainer’s finger around with the eyes, and tests of that nature. This clearly shows that eye movement and tracking is one of the most important ways to determine if one suffered a brain injury. See the full article about eye tracking and concussions here.
According to researchers, it’s believed that up to 90 percent of patients with concussions have eye movement problems, but the current method of assessing eye movement is asking a patient to follow the doctor’s finger.
Researchers performed an experiment, detailed in the article, that procured results stating the more severe the concussion, the worse a patient’s eye movement problems.
Dr. M. Sean Grady, chair of the neurosurgery department at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, said, “The importance of this study is that it establishes a reliable test and a ‘biological’ marker for detecting concussion. Since concussion can occur without loss of consciousness, this can be particularly important in sideline evaluations in athletics or in military settings where individuals are highly motivated to return to activity and may minimize their symptoms. More work is needed to establish its sensitivity and specificity, but it is very promising.”
Hat tip to our stellar summer intern Jacob, who kindly took time off of mending chicken wire to research and write this post.