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FDA Approves New Device Used To Detect Concussions

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- A new way to detect concussions has been given the green light by the Food and Drug Administration.

It's called the "EyeBox" and it was developed by a Twin Cities neurosurgeon.

As Bill Hudson shows us, unlike traditional testing, the device is far more accurate.

Concussions can happen to anyone, anywhere, from a blow on the field, to a fall on the ice. But diagnosing concussions has never been so easy.

"My thought is this will change the way we classify brain injury," said Dr. Uzma Samadani, a neurosurgeon with Hennepin Healthcare.

For years Dr. Samadani has worked to perfect eye tracking as a better way to pinpoint concussions.

"If you have swelling in the brain one of the nerves that moves the pupil might not function correctly," said Dr. Samadani.

What she and her researchers developed detects injury by how well pupils track a moving image on a screen. In a healthy brain eyes track consistently, but a concussed brain reveals erratic movement.

"What you can do is detect when someone has abnormal movement and then understand where in the brain that is coming from by looking at how that movement is impaired," Samadani said.

The FDA just gave Eyebox full approval. Samadani says it will soon be in use in clinics and hospitals across the country.

"You can't fake the ability to move your eyes together, and you can't fake the inability to move your eyes together," Samadani said.

Now that the device is cleared for use there are plans for a consumer version that could be used at home or by sports trainers for immediate concussion detection.

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