College Uses Equipment to Detect Concussions


Springfield College Tests for Concussions

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Controversy continues over whether a brain injury led former Patriots linebacker, Junior Seau, to kill himself this week. For years, there has been debate about how concussions impact the brain and future health problems for athletes.

Student-athletes at Springfield College are tested for concussions with two types of technology.

The Athletic Department uses software that detects cognitive problems before the athletes are allowed to play. If they get a concussion, they are tested again before returning to the field or court using balance equipment.

Balance has been shown to be an indicator of whether the athlete can return to play.

“When we look at a concussion or someone who is returning from a concussion, the two things we look at are brain function, reaction time, and balance.  If all those are coming back to baseline scores, it gives us a good indication that they’re ready for return to play,” said Sue Guyer, an athletic trainer at the college.

Quarterback, Josh Carter, has never had a concussion, but says head injuries come with the territory.

“I don’t think it can be prevented completely,” said Carter, whose brother also plays and has had more than five concussions.

Soccer player, Katie Mantie, says deaths like Seau’s could actually help improve the way concussions are treated.

“I think it’s a tragedy what is happening with NFL players, but if they have an opportunity to get research out of it, only good things can come from it, ” said Mantie.

For more information about concussions and brain injuries, click here.