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San Antonio doctors studying brain impact injuries

White House hosts summit to advance research on sports-related concussions

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President Barack Obama said a startling lack of data on concussions is what's driving the first-ever White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussions Summit.

"There's a lot of concern, but also a lot of uncertainty," Obama said.

Citing the Centers for Disease Control's most recent data, Obama spoke about the severity of brain injuries nationwide.

"Young people made nearly 250,000 emergency room visits for brain injuries for sports and recreation," Obama said.

He also announced several public-private partnerships that will invest time and money in furthering the study of brain injuries.

In response to the summit held Thursday, local sports medicine Dr. Eliot Young said he likes the attention being focused on sports-related concussions.

"It's a big issue in this country," Young said. "The more studies and research that comes out of this, the better we're going to be able to treat this."

Young and his partners at Sports Medicine Associates of San Antonio use what's called an IMPACT test to help determine when and if injured athletes will be able to get back in the game.

"That test battery composes reaction time, visual and verbal memory, processing, speed, impulse control and then has a whole section on symptoms," Young said.

Young said the IMPACT program works best if there is an initial test done prior to injury so there will be a baseline of brain performance, something to compare the injured brain to.

The baseline test costs $49 and is not covered by insurance, but Young insists it is optimal for accurate diagnosis and treatment of a concussion.

For more information on the IMPACT test, visit the SMASA website.

Two weeks after a Defenders investigation into local high school football helmet ratings, the Northside Independent School District announced they will phase out all two star-rated helmets prior to the beginning of the 2014 football season.

The Defenders' investigation was prompted by the release of a study done by Virginia Tech University on the safety of major football helmet manufacturers, including Riddell and Schutt.

For a list of recent stories April Molina has done, click here.

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