Some schools using baseline testing to diagnose concussions

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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) -- Concussions are nothing to take lightly. Just ask fullback Landon Jansen.

"I was on the field and just got hit. I just kept getting pounded by this one guy. I had contacts in but my vision was all blurry. I told my coach and he pulled me out," said Jansen, a freshman at Grand Island Senior High in Grand Island, Nebraska.

Diagnosing concussions like Landon's is made possible, in part, by the school's baseline testing.

"It tests all sorts of brain activity: their memory, their recall, their reaction times," said Grand Island Senior High athletic trainer Todd Goshorn.

The senior high and middle schools use impact testing. Athletes take this baseline before the start of the season or during the off season. Players are tested every other year because their reaction and memory may change.

"The doctors feel they're maturing from eighth grade to ninth grade and the brain also starts to mature more. They're going through adolescence," said Goshorn.

The athletic trainer says having guidelines to follow and information to compare is key to proper diagnosis.

The baseline test shows normal brain activity. Then a new test is done if injury occurs.

"If they happen to have a concussion, we have to wait a certain amount of days; usually it's 24 to 48 hours. Every concussion is different, but until the doctor or physician releases him or her. Then we do a post test," said Goshorn.

Goshorn sees the most concussions in high-impact sports like football and soccer, as well as basketball and softball.

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