Mayo Clinic has agreed to a licensing agreement with King-Devick Test Inc., which has developed a proven indicator of ocular motor, visual and cognitive function for concussion detection and evaluation on the sidelines of sporting events to help with the decision to sideline athletes to prevent injury, according to a news release.

PT_news-01The agreement, announced Jan. 27, is part of an effort to raise awareness of concussion and increase access to sideline testing, according to the release. Between 1.6 million and 3.8 million students have concussions every year, according to CDC estimates.

The King-Devick Test is a quick, accurate and objective concussion screening tool that can be administered on the sidelines by parents, coaches, athletic trainers, school nurses and medical professionals, according to the release.

“Studies have indicated that the King-Devick Test is an effective tool for the real-time evaluation of concussion because it looks at rapid eye movement and attention – both are affected by concussions,” David Dodick, MD, neurologist and director of Mayo Clinic’s concussion program, said in the release. “Most importantly, the test is affordable and can easily be used by any youth sports league, and administered by nonmedical personnel. And youth athletes are at a higher risk for concussion and a longer recovery time than adults.”

The test requires an athlete to read single-digit numbers displayed on cards or tablet computer. After suspected head trauma, the athlete is given the test, which takes about two minutes, and the results are compared to a previously administered baseline test. If the time needed to complete the test takes longer than the baseline test time, or if the subject shows any other symptoms of a concussion, test instructions say the athlete should be removed from play until evaluated by a medical professional. A new baseline is required annually.

Peer-reviewed published research has shown the King-Devick Test requires eye movements, speech, language, and concentration, all of which can be impaired as a result of concussion. Recently, more than 20 studies showing the effectiveness of the test as a quick, objective and accurate remove-from-play sideline test have been presented or published in scientific journals. Numerous other recent studies have been published regarding King-Devick Test as it relates to MS, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, hypoxia, extreme sleep deprivation and reading fluency. Under the agreement, Mayo Clinic will provide ongoing medical consultation in the test’s future development.

The King-Devick Test also has been proven to detect unwitnessed, unreported and silent concussions in athletes, according to the release.

“It’s a privilege to be associated with the premier healthcare brand in the world,” Steve Devick, OD, founder and CEO of King-Devick Test, said in the release. “This agreement will help us accomplish our goal of having a tool on the sidelines to help determine remove-from-play for athletes to prevent further injury and be referred to qualified professionals for follow-up care.”

Under the terms of the agreement, the King-Devick Concussion Screening Test will be formally recognized as the King-Devick Test In Association With Mayo Clinic.

“Although concussion awareness has been a trending hot media topic at the professional and collegiate sport levels, more information must be disseminated to the high school and youth levels,” Dodick said in the release. “Concussion guidelines are rapidly changing. Just a few years ago, athletes were expected to shake it off and continue to play after suffering a concussion or a ‘ding.’ Today, we now know that it is unsafe for any athlete to return to play the same day they have suffered a concussion, and it is recommended that every athlete not return to play until they have been cleared by an appropriate professional.”

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