Transcript for New Concussion Test Could Be A Medical Breakthrough
you know there's so much concern right now about concussions in sports. Up to 3.8 million sports-related concussions every single year and now there may be a new way to quickly diagnose them. ABC's Paula Faris here with that. There's so much pressure for athlete, Michael, you can attest to this to return to the game after the big hit. The hope is this objective blood test will change the culture and in doing so make sports much safer. This morning, a potential breakthrough through diagnosing sports-related concussions. Especially for so many parents who are concerned about their children suiting up. Repetitive head trauma chokes the brain. Reporter: They're even the subject of will smith's major motion picture "Concussion." The CDC reports that nearly 250,000 kids under age 19 were treated in emergency rooms across America for sports-related injuries resulting in a concussion or traumatic brain injury diagnosis in 2009. Our brains are developing even up to the age of 18 into the early 20s. Those repetitive hits could lead to chronic neurodegenerative changes and it's important they engage in sports and be healthy. Reporter: Now medical company quanterix is developing technology that will change the game. We are applying rocket science to blood testing. Reporter: The company developing machines that will identify a concussion in less than an hour using a simple blood test identifying proteins that show brain trauma. So a finger prick could tell you the answer in 20 mens whether that athlete has experienced a concussion. Reporter: Their research is backed by the NFL after winning funding from the league's head health challenge. Having an objective test could change the culture of the game. Reporter: The company hopes to have these tests ready as soon as next year and doctors say this technology could make a great impact on sports sidelines. This is promising and requires more validity and trials in order to make sure it's actually going to be useful. In the clinical setting, as well as on the sideline. Reporter: That vision is that one day they will be able to administer a fingerprick blood test on the sideline and determine whether that player should go back in the game and how severe the concussion is and definitely positive signs and a possible breakthrough. Paula, thanks very much. Dr. Richard Besser here right now and as Paula said a lot more testing to be done on this. Also some, you know, concern about parents right now, their kid can have a concussion and they have no idea. It's hard. A really young child they'll tell you if they have a headache or dizzy or blurred vision. But a high cool or college athlete they want to get back in that game. Having an objective test has a lot of value. You know, a blood test would be terrific, the science there is really, really too soon to know. Right now they use a simple test that's effective. Yeah, the standard testing requires a medical professional but there's a simple eye test that many people are using called the king-devic test. When you have a hard hit to your head you have trouble Reading along lines and following text and so they administered this card where you just simply read Numbers for about two minutes across and they compare it to how fast you read them before the season started. And it can be very useful in diagnosing a concussion even if the child doesn't want you -- The coach used to look at you to see if you had that glassy look. The coach wants you back in there so there's a conflict of interest so having something objective would be useful. You'll take questions all morning on Twitter and Facebook. Post your questions on "Gma's" Facebook page.
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