According to the Brain Injury Association of Canada (BIAC), over 160,000 Canadians sustain brain injuries each year and the rates are rising. Across the border, the numbers reach into the millions. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced its approval for the marketing of two new devices that put more tools in the hands of medical professionals to assess brain injury.
The first device, Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT) runs on laptop or desktop and is designed for use on those aged 12 to 59. ImPACT Pediatric is the iPad-based children's version for use on 5- to 11-year-olds.
After a decade of study and testing on millions of patients, the computerized tests are the first of their kind to assess cognitive function in those experiencing the signs and symptoms of brain injury. The tool can measure a patient's ability to carry out commonly impacted functions such as recognizing words, reacting to stimuli and remembering.
Ability To Assess, But Not To Diagnose
The tests can be used on those who are not currently injured but who wish to have a baseline record against which future results can be compared following a potential injury. For those who are injured, the test can be immediately administered and the results measured against normative scores expected of non-injured individuals of the same age.
However, in its press release, the FDA stresses the limitations of the device, stating that "clinicians should not rely on these tests alone to rule out a concussion."
Although they do not directly diagnose a concussion, determine treatment or provide an all-clear for a head-injured patient to return to normal activity, ImPACT and ImPACT Pediatric are exciting new developments that add more to currently available brain injury technology.
Gluckstein Injury Lawyers follows brain injury research closely while continuing to provide patients and their families with the legal advice and support they need to make a recovery.
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