Anchor>>Coaches and schools always take precautions
before putting a player with a head injury back in the game or classroom. Well now research
at the University of Rochester may give them immediate results on how seriously a player
is hurt. Caroline Tucker explains: Reporter>>Hockey is a contact sport. The
players on the RIT men’s hockey team don’t deny that.
Sometimes you get your bell rung pretty hard whether it be a hit or there is fighting in
junior hockey. Reporter>. But when you take a blow to the
head – concussion symptoms can vary. Senior Ben Lynch has had a few.
Lynch>>It starts to get a little ringing in your head and you try to remember things and
you can’t remember things that happened five minutes ago.
Reporter>>.Dr. Jeff Bazarian at the University of Rochester and researchers in Germany have
studied these hockey players and other athletes over the last four years.
They have discovered that a brain protein in the blood: S100B jumps slightly during
exercise. But after a concussion – there is a major
spike. Doctor>>It looks like this one particular
blood test is good at distinguishing if an athlete has had a concussion from and athlete
that is just playing their sport. Reporter>>The hope is to one day have this
blood test be a single finger prick along the sidelines to have those players who need
to, stay out of the game, and those who can, go back in.
Reporter>>RIT Men’s Hockey Coach Wayne Wilson struggles with players who want get back on
the ice even after injuries. Wilson>>I think it takes all of the guess
work out. then you have an immediate answer. He is concussed, he can not play. There are
certain athletes that try to hide it. Reporter>>Dr. Bazarian says concussions have
short-term effects but the real worry is possible dementia down the road.
The technology exists to do these tests but it needs FDA approval.
Doctor>>It costs about $1-2 million for a company to bring a test through the FDA. I
am hoping that a company will see this as a risk worth taking.
Lynch>>At the end of the day, it’s just a game. We are all going to be done playing
some day. And you have to move on, get a job, and live your life and you don’t want to be
living with head problems. Reporter>>And worthy of that goal. Caroline
Tucker, News 8