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Neuro Kinetics, Allegheny Health Network Explore Effectiveness of a New Technology for Sports-Related Concussion Diagnosis

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Study published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation – the official journal of the Brain Injury Association of America – Points to Potential of Video-Oculography Testing

PITTSBURGH (Dec. 4, 2018) – The use of a novel technology called video-oculography may provide clinicians with improved capabilities for diagnosing and managing concussions, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation by researchers from Neuro Kinetics (NKI) and Allegheny Health Network (AHN).

Using NKI’s I-Portal VNG (video nystagmography) technology, the study compared 50 concussed high school athletes who were diagnosed by AHN concussion specialists to 170 high school athletes with no history of concussion. In those who were concussed, the device was used to assess oculomotor (movement of the eye) function, vestibular (sense of balance) function, and reaction time – otherwise known as ‘OVRT’ – at various stages following their head injury. Multiple deficits in OVRT were found in the students who were concussed relative to the control population.

“Currently, the process of diagnosing a person with concussion is subjective because a physician must interpret results of neurocognitive testing and/or brain imaging. The results of this study suggest that a range of OVRT testing can be used to objectively, reliably and non-invasively evaluate and diagnose concussion,” said Alex Kiderman, Ph.D., Chief Technology Officer, NKI.

The paper, “Oculomotor, Vestibular, and Reaction Time Effects of Sports-Related Concussion: Video-Oculography in Assessing Sports-Related Concussion,” also reveals an unexpected correlation between concussions that were more than 21 days post-injury and a metric known as optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) gain. Findings suggested OKN gain appears to be closely associated with concussions that do not repair quickly, and which may impact patients well beyond the initial incident.

“The study confirmed something we had long suspected about concussions, namely that certain types of oculomotor deficits may persist much longer than others. While further research is needed to fully explore whether this test can indicate long-term consequences of mild traumatic brain injury, this is a significant finding that could ultimately impact physicians’ recommendations regarding how quickly an individual can return to play and/or routine activities, such as driving,” said Edward Snell, MD, Director of Primary Sports Medicine, AHN, and head team physician for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

"Neuro Kinetics is grateful for the dedicated team at the AHN Research Institute,” said Howison Schroeder, president and CEO of NKI. “We’re excited that yet another study demonstrates how our breakthrough neuroscience technology could help concussed teenage athletes.” 

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ABOUT NKI

The Science to See™

Neuro Kinetics, Inc. (NKI) is the leader in clinical eye tracking and non-invasive neuro-otologic diagnostic testing. Research shows that abnormal eye responses can help to diagnose more than 200 diseases and medical conditions. With 24 issued patents and over 150 installations, NKI’s FDA cleared I-Portal® devices are sold to physical therapists, audiologists, ENT’s, neurotologists, neuro-ophthalmologists and neurologists around the globe. The company's cleared diagnostic platforms include the I-PAS® (I-Portal® Portable Assessment System), I-Portal® NOTC (Neuro-Otologic Test Center), I-Portal® VNG, (Video Nystagmography) and I-Portal® VOG (Video Oculography), along with related accessories, software, training and support services.

I-Portal systems have been in use for many years by prominent university and federal laboratories for concussion research studies. Concussions, as mTBI’s are widely known, are an increasing public health concern. The absence of an objective diagnostic device has made health care practitioners eager for a device that can measure concussion symptoms acutely and over time with speed, precision and reliability. Recent third party research initially indicates a battery of OVRT (oculomotor, vestibular, and reaction time) tests, in combination with NKI’s I-Portal devices, can support a more accurate diagnosis of mTBI (concussion) symptom measurement both acutely and during convalescence. NKI is actively working toward gaining clearance for its I-Portal® systems as an aid in the diagnosis of concussion based on this and other research.  To learn more about NKI, please visit www.neuro-kinetics.com.