New app monitors concussions, may benefit athletes

By Haley Hernandez - Health Reporter

HOUSTON - A new study came out Monday that showed long-term effects of contact sports.

Researchers are concerned it's not just concussions leaving athletes with brain damage.

More young players showed brain changes after just one season of taking regular impact hits.

"I haven't had anything officially diagnosed, but I definitely have gotten my bell rung a couple times," Rice track athlete Scott Filip said.

What use to be dismissed after plummeting from pole vault, is now increasing alarm for athletes to take a sideline test.

"You kind of feel a little dizzy, your eyes might start to buzz a little bit, for lack of a better term, kind of gets a little black and fuzzy," Filip said.

Katy high school athletes and a few Rice University athletes have teamed up with a local startup company called BrainCheck to help diagnose brain injuries and concussions on the spot.

Yael Katz is BrainCheck.com's CEO.

"It's really important to establish a baseline. What is your cognitive performance, on a regular day and in general?" Katz asked. "Then, if there is any kind of a concern, what you can do is take the test again and see what the difference is from your baseline."

Katz said the faster you give an accurate response, the better your score. She said wrong answers would be a red flag.

"That's what BrainCheck can ultimately figure out based on the scores that we receive on the test," Filip said.

If the scores change a lot from one test to another, BrainCheck reports shows it to a doctor for long-term monitoring.

"If a student does get a diagnosis of a concussion by a physician, they can take the BrainCheck test at home to monitor their recovery and watch as their scores come back up to baseline," Katz said.

BrainCheck's next test will come out in January. This test will be specifically geared towards testing for cognitive degeneration.

This includes diseases like Alzheimer's and dementia.

2016 Click2Houston/KPRC2