The cover story of the December 2016 issue of EyeNet, the magazine of the American Academy of Ophthalmology is entitled: Concussion Care: Moving Vision off the Sidelines, written by Annie Stuart. She notes: “Although the visual system involves about half of the brain’s circuits—many of which are vulnerable to head injury—vision has long been sidelined in the world of concussion diagnosis and treatment. That is beginning to change.”
There is a section of the article devoted to the King-Devick Test, featuring two neuro-ophthalmologists, Dr. Laura J. Balcer and Dr. Steven L. Galetta. As nonpaid consultants,
Drs. Balcer and Galetta were asked 7 years ago to explore the usefulness of the K-D test. The article notes parenthetically that this test was developed by a team of optometrists who test kids for dyslexia, gauging the amount of time it takes to read numbers with variable spacing on 3 test cards.
In 2015, a meta-analysis found the K-D test to be a sensitive candidate for a sideline test, effective with athletes of all ages, said Dr. Balcer. In fact, it has been shown to capture concussions that other types of sideline tests miss, in part, because athletes tend to underreport symptoms. “A robust set of data indicates that it can accurately assess concussion on the sidelines, is feasibly administered by parents and coaches in about a minute, and doesn’t require any special equipment,” she said. “We think it is close to prime time use.”
At NYU Langone’s Concussion Center, Margaret A. Waskiewicz, MS, OTR/L, specializes in vision rehabilitation, which links concussion treatment to functional performance such as the ability to work or go to the store. Vision therapy is typically offered by optometrists or other specialists who have a certification in vision therapy.
A recent addition to the NYU team is Dr. Neera Kapoor, an Associate Clinical Professor at NYU Langone Medical Center’s Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. She was an Associate Clinical Professor at SUNY College of Optometry for 21 years and is the former Chief of Vision Rehabilitation Services at SUNY College of Optometry’s University Eye Center in New York City.
Some things take time to be accepted by Medicine. I am beginning to see more and more articles referring to behavioral care as an an approach to care for patients’ disorders. The brain controls the body and is capable of healing the body. Treatment methods which facilitate this approach are more in the near future than the far future. It is nice to have been part of this advancement.