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LA Students Undergo 'Baseline' Tests To Measure Concussion Effects

PICO UNION DISTRICT ( — As concerns grow over brain injuries in teenagers and their relation to team sports, a landmark program aims to increase sport safety.

About 1,200 students at Loyola High School, including non-athlete students, are being given a series of tests, known as baseline concussion tests, designed to measure brain function.

The tests involve number tracking, memory and balance.

"We just decided that it would be better off to have all of our students have a baseline, so that if they should ever have a concussion, we'll have something to work with," head athletic trainer Tim Moscicki said.

Moscicki's son Nick, a student, is familiar with what a concussion is like after having suffered one following an elbow to the head while playing football.

"I remember seeing black for a couple of seconds, and then I forgot, kind of, how I went to the floor," Nick said.

Nick had taken the baseline concussion test, and after Moscicki, who was on the field at the time of the incident, recognized that his son had suffered a concussion, doctors were then able to measure the extremity of the concussion's effect.

35 of the school's student athletes were sidelined due to head injuries in 2013, according to Moscicki. That number grew when including non-sports related head injuries.

The cost of testing all 1,200 students is about $5,000, which is being paid for by the school.

On Monday, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that limits the number of full-contact practices for middle-and-high school football teams to two per week during their regular seasons. The legislation also prohibits full-contact practices altogether during off-season.

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