A simple reaction time test, which will help decide whether athletes have sustained a concussion and when they are ready to play again, has been developed by US researchers.
Reaction time slows down after a concussion, for as long as several days after other symptoms are gone, according to University of Michigan Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Research.
The test uses a simple, inexpensive device with a cylinder attached to a weighted disk, which is then released by the examiner for the athlete to catch so that reaction time can be measured.
This test could work especially well with youth athletes, where simple facilities result in limited access to computerised tests.
The study was conducted on 209 Division I college football, wrestling and women’s soccer athletes.
Of these eight athletes had concussions and of those seven exhibited prolonged reaction time, taking about 15% longer to catch the object.