To the Editor:
Regarding your article “Efforts to Prevent Concussions Target Schools” (Sept. 29, 2010):
Bethesda Hospital, in St. Paul, Minn., specializes in brain injuries. It has an online test that anyone can take to document what his or her healthy brain looks like. After the viewer takes the test, no one examines it, but it is saved. If the test-taker later has a brain injury, doctors will have a record of what his or her “normal” brain looked like before the injury. Treatment can be much more specific if medical personnel have a baseline with which to compare changes.
I graduated from the hospital’s nursing program more than 50 years ago, and have been kept well informed about programs and advances as an alumna. Last Christmas, four of my six grandchildren went online and took the test, giving me a note that said they had all completed it. That was the best present I received.
This kind of test certainly does not prevent an injury. But if one ever happens, the medical community will know where to begin. In medicine, that is paramount.
A version of this article appeared in the October 13, 2010 edition of Education Week as Testing the Brain Before Injuries Occur