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Football brain injuries inspires new baseline test for students

Some San Antonio high school athletes will be getting much better information about their brains because of a new technology being introduced to local campuses.

Valero Alamo Bowl has agreed to pay for up to 1,000 baseline ImPACT tests to help student athletes recover from concussions and other head injuries.

Announced this week as the Brain Heroes program and run by Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio, it helps determine when and if the athlete may resume regular activities.

The baseline ImPACT test is the initial evaluation of the brain, creating a starting point scenario to refer to in the future. Should the student sustain another injury, the subsequent test is compared to the baseline to assess how severe the injury is.

The recipients of the test will be 100 students from Southwest High School. Testing will be overseen by SportsMedSa doctors and school trainers and coaches. Southwest head football coach and athletic director Peter Wagner expressed his thanks.

"Research shows girl's soccer, boy's soccer and football lead the way in concussions. We wish to thank them for their generosity and kindness in allowing our kids this opportunity," Wagner said Wednesday, May 21.

Many head injuries go undiagnosed. An estimated 47 percent of athletes don't report feeling any symptoms after a concussive blow. A study released last October by the National Academy of Sciences revealed that high school athletes suffer concussions more often than college players, and the rate is rising.

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