Advancing the Science of Concussion Diagnosis


The Canadian Football League is testing an eye examination on its sidelines to help screen athletes for concussions and head trauma. It's called the King-Devick Test and it was developed by optometrists Alan King and Steven Devick.

More of a Good Thing

The Canadian Football League (CFL) has extended a breakthrough concussion screening study to all of its teams during this season.

The CFL has been collaborating with the creators of a concussion diagnostic called the King-Devick Test to assess athletes for head trauma. The procedure is, according to the CFL:

"An objective remove-from-play concussion screening test that measures the player's eye-movements, speed and language function. After suspected head trauma, the athlete is given the test and that time is compared to his preseason baseline results for the same test."

Experts working on the research say eye movement is a key indicator of an athlete's health:

"The eyes are actually part of the brain; therefore, the visual pathways give a widespread overview of what's happening with the brain during concussion. Impaired eye movements can be apparent even when athletes appear to be asymptomatic or 'fine' after a suspected head injury."

International Partnerships

The NFL is a partner in the CFL screening study.

"Advancing the science around concussion diagnosis, prognosis and treatment to improve player health and safety is our priority," says Dr. Richard Ellenbogen, former co-chair of the NFL's Head, Neck and Spine Committee.

"We engage with the leading international experts and sports leagues to pursue that goal," he says.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Alzheimer Disease and Associated Disorders suggests the same test could be helpful in identifying patients with dementia.