SECTION 1. For the purposes of this legislation, the following definitions shall apply:
(i): “Concussion” shall be defined as a traumatic brain injury (TBI) causing functional impairment.
(ii): “ImPACT test” shall be defined as a computer-based test for concussions and similar TBI’s, focusing on challenging subjects with shapes as well as questions that require thought.
SECTION 2. Whereas traumatic brain injuries such as concussions may result in permanent long-term brain damage, and whereas studies show current medical procedures used to diagnose concussions often do not yield complete information and are not useful in the detection of mild brain injuries; this legislation shall instruct the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to study the feasibility of reevaluating concussion testing in the commonwealth.
SECTION 3. This study shall specifically compare and contrast the standard ImPACT testing system with a new method of detecting concussions. This new method of testing shall rely on changes in brain glucose metabolism, which can be measured both functionally and morphologically in the eye of a subject. This method consists of three separate phases; these phases shall be defined as follows:
(i): “Phase 1” shall use imaging technology to take video images or still photos of the movement of a subject’s pupil and iris when following and/or focusing on an object. Phase 1 also consists of collecting the data on the effects of a concussion and building a database with the results.
(ii): “Phase 2” shall involve the identification of morphological alterations in structures of the eye due to the alterations in blood flow and glucose metabolism after a concussion.
(iii): “Phase 3” shall involve the use of the collected data to identify links between eye function and other neurological diseases. It shall also utilize the data collected to identify ways to deter and prevent concussions in the future.
SECTION 4: The Department of Public Health shall be responsible for conducting a comprehensive study on the feasibility of this new method of concussion testing, and how it compares to the standard ImPACT method. The findings of this study shall be reported to the Governor of the Commonwealth; the Joint Committee on Public Health; the general public; and other interested parties.
SECTION 5: The Department of Public Health shall provide the full findings of this study no later than 2 years after the passage of this legislation.
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