New concussion testing in East Texas

(KYTX) - Under the Friday night lights, East Texas high school football players clash with hard hits.

It's not just football, any sport that requires constant impact, can cause wear and tear on the body and your brain.

"Took her to the hospital, they diagnosed her and just sent her home and said don't do what you don't feel like doing," said Debbie Kober.

At a press conference, Debbie Kober told the story of how her daughter suffered a concussion after falling off a horse.

But like many professional athletes, she continued to push herself, no matter how she felt, until it got to the point where she lost her memory.

"She's like, Mom, I studied math six times and every time I open the book, it's like I never saw it again," explained Kober. 

The adult brain is a three pound organ that basically floats around in your skull.

With a hard hit to the head, delicate neural pathways in the brain can become damaged, causing neurological disturbances.

"At Robert E. Lee High School, we have almost 800 athletes, and so at any given time we may have an athlete that is currently concussed," said Amy Langley, Tyler ISD athletic trainer.

With ImPACT concussion testing, students are tested in memory, reaction time and speed.

"Everybody gets what's called a baseline, which is basically what is normal cognitive function for that child," said Langley.

The testing happens before young athletes suffer their first big hit.

By figuring out what's normal for the athlete, when they do suffer a concussion, it can help diagnose how prepared they are to get back in the game.

"She still can't taste and smell, but that's nothing compared to having her memory back," said Jober.

The Tyler branch of Wells Fargo provided the funding to implement the ImPACT concussion program.

We're told other East Texas Wells Fargo offices, in areas such as Palestine and Quitman, are considering bringing the program to school districts there.


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