With all the press about the dangers of concussions suffered during sports, at least one company is offering a product that could help child and youhful athletes.
A company called Axon Sports, for $7.50, says it can perform a cognitive baseline test that can be used to essentially gauge whether someone has sustained a concussion or not. “Take the test that aids decisions about managing concussions,” Axon’s website says.
Axon claims that it offers a quick and cost-effective way for athletes to take “snapshots” of their normal brains and cognitive abilities, the “baseline” reading.
Doctors can compare that baseline to a “snapshot” taken after an athlete has had a blow to the head to determine if that athlete has a concussion. So doctors can use the test to determine when injured athletes can return to the classroom, practice or actual games.
Axon has several videos on its site, all of them featuring Dr. James Moriarity, head team physician for Notre Dame University and a consultant for Axon. He says that the test that athletes take online is a card game, and there are shots of teens doing the test.
The Axon website says the online test entails four simple tasks.
“Repeating the same tasks After Injury identifies any cognitive changes from the baseline performance,” Axon says. “This helps indicate whether the brain has fully recovered from the injury. Qualified medical providers use the online concussion test results in making decisions about when it is safe for athletes to return to the classroom, practice, or competitive play.”
Axon says, “The baseline test is a record of the athlete’s cognitive ability when in his/her normal state (free from head injury or other medical, sleep or mood conditions). If the athlete is suspected of suffering from a head injury during the sport season, the athlete can take an After Injury test and the results of this test can be compared to his/her baseline test. A physician will be able to determine, based on the comparison of baseline to After Injury test results, if there has been a change in the athlete’s cognitive abilities. If there are changes from the baseline test, then a physician should determine whether the athlete should return to play or return to the classroom.”
Axon’s offering is an interesting one, and one that I think could be a real tool in the management of concussions.