Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) April 21, 2014
A team of Allegheny Health Network physicians has presented the first evidence supporting an objective method of concussion assessment. Reporting at the recent annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, specialists from the orthopaedics, neurology, and sports medicine programs at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) determined that a clinical diagnosis of concussion was highly correlated with results from oculomotor and vestibular reflex testing.
“I’m extremely proud of our Department’s support of such important research, under the direction of Dr. Sam Akhavan. To our knowledge, this is the first report of the use of a battery of oculomotor and vestibular tests to diagnose concussions,” said Patrick J. DeMeo, MD, Chair Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Allegheny Health Network and Medical Director, Pittsburgh Pirates Baseball Organization.
The presentation by AGH’s Sam Akhavan, MD, representing co-investigators Dr. DeMeo, Edward Snell, MD; Kevin Kelly, MD, PhD; Matthew Quigley, MD and Neuro Kinetics, Inc.’s Alexander Kiderman, PhD, was selected to be highlighted in the Best of the AAOS, which will be published online this month.
Allegheny Health Network’s research focused on providing baseline testing to 292 high school football players with no history of head injury, following those players throughout their football season, and retesting athletes who were injured during a game or practice.
The athletes were evaluated with I-Portal®, a tool developed by Neuro Kinetics, Inc., to measure eye movements and pupil reflexes in response to a variety of stimuli. Eye movement data were acquired using a high speed camera centered on and measuring both pupils tracking a stimulus 36 inches away.
Ten of the athletes suffered a concussion during the course of the season. These athletes were retested within 48 hours of the concussion. The results of the tests were compared to the preseason data to determine the ability to detect concussions using the same battery of tests.
“The multiple tests all showed clear differences between patients who suffered a concussion and those who did not, allowing for 100 percent correct classification,” said Dr. Akhavan, a sports medicine specialist at AGH.
Concussed patients scored two standard deviations (SD) below the mean on at least three of the 12 tests. Five of the 10 patients scored two SD below the mean on at least five tests.
NKI has contracted with Allegheny General Hospital to embark on a joint research initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Defense, to analyze results from additional clinical trials of I-Portal®. Investigators are also comparing I-Portal® results with those of other methods of evaluating concussions. Data analysis has shown I-Portal® testing to be highly accurate.
“We’re finding abnormalities that can’t be detected via MRI,” said Dr. Kelly, and AGH neurologist and brain injury researcher.