New test can prevent serious head injuries for athletes

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)- New technology is helping doctors and coaches decide when it's safe for athletes who've suffered a concussion, to get back in the game.

Kentucky Orthopedic Rehab Team (KORT) is the first in the area to offer a new testing system called, Impact Neurocognitive Baseline Testing. "It measures an athletes reactionary time and memorization" Doug Means said. Means is the Director of Sports Medicine with KORT where over 400 JCPS athletes have already taken the test.

Doctors with Norton Neuroscience Institute call it the next step in concussion management.

"What we'll have the kids do ahead of time is take these tests and get a baseline and when they have a concussion they take the exact same test again" said Neurosurgeon, Dr. David Sun.

"So our goal here is to get you as close back to that baseline as we can get you before you can go back and play" Means said.

After suffering two concussions in the sport of event horse riding, 18 year old Tahlia Hodes took the test and believes it can be a significant tool in keeping athletes safe. "I wasn't aware that I had a concussion. I just knew my head hurt for a little bit. If you feel better, you don't really know if you're fully put back together, fully healed" Hodes said.

"It's like an insurance policy. Hopefully you never need it, but it's there" Means said.

The tests are available to every student athlete in Jefferson County. The cost is $1.

For more information, JCPS students should contact the school's athletic trainer or Doug Means,