Headache or Concussion? The Answer is in Your Spit

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Jill Chadwick

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          A little spit may help predict whether your child's concussion symptoms will go away in a few days or last for weeks.

A group of Penn State researchers developed a test analyzing saliva that’s nearly 90 percent accurate in identifying concussions in children and teens whose symptoms lasted for at least a month. The current test involves doctors conducting a concussion survey with the patient which the research found is right less than 70 percent of the time.

Dr. Michael Rippee is director of the Concussion Management Program at The University of Kansas Health System. In the video he says this study is just one example of the rapidly improving arsenal doctors have for diagnosing and treating concussions. He also addresses old vs. new thinking about the importance of rest in recovering, and how concussions from non-sports activities are on the rise. The doctor also explains how advances, not just in sports equipment, but in improved techniques, is helping keep the number of concussions down, and he talks about the importance of everyone being able to recognize the symptoms of concussion.