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Could an eye test diagnose brain injury?

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. A neurosurgeon says in a new study that she may also provide a way to test someone for a concussion.

The neurosurgeon believes that irregularities in eye motion are a reliable sign of brain injury. She bases her findings on test performed on a group of 255 people, eight of whom had already been diagnosed with a concussion. The subjects watched music videos, while the motion of their eyes was tracked, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The study says that the method correctly identified seven out of the eight concussion victims, for an 88 percent success rate. The neurosurgeon said that is a better rate than many commonly used concussion screening tests. However, the eye test did lead to some false positive diagnoses of healthy subjects.

A reliable way to diagnose concussion by examining a person's eyes would go a long way toward allowing victims to begin treatment sooner. From a sports perspective, it could make it easier to determine who should be kept on the sideline after a blow to the head, and who can go back out on the field. Coaches, trainers and doctors are supposed to bench youth athletes with head injuries in many states, but properly diagnosing a concussion can be difficult in the middle of a game.

As we learn more about how brain trauma displays itself, we can expect more and better types of treatment and preventative measures in California. However, brain injury may never disappear from the world, so victims still need to be able to be compensated from those negligently responsible for their damages.

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