Health News: New Test Could Gauge Severity of Concussions

Neurologists at Mayo Clinic in Arizona have taken a promising step toward identifying a test that helps support the diagnosis of concussion. Autonomic reflex testing—measuring involuntary changes in heart rate and blood pressure— appears to consistently demonstrate significant changes in those with a concussion.

Right now doctors rely primarily on self-reporting of symptoms to make a diagnosis of concussion. Other than the absence of symptoms, there is no reliable test to determine when an athlete’s brain has fully recovered from concussion.

Brain imaging research studies show that there is a lag between when the patient reports that their symptoms have resolved and the time when the brain has actually healed.