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Brain Injury and Vestibular Ocular Motor Testing

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

In the last episode, we discussed the vestibulo ocular reflex. This reflexive eye movement can help quantify a brain injury.

In this episode, we discuss Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening and explain what it is and why such screening of TBI patients is essential.

The Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening test was developed to assess vestibular and ocular motor impairments by having a patient report on symptoms after each assessment.

The Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening assesses eye movement in the following 5 domains:

(1) smooth pursuit of an object,

(2) horizontal and vertical shifting of gaze from one object to another,

(3) the ability of the eyes to work together or converge,

(4) horizontal vestibular ocular reflex (which is an involuntary eye movement), and

(5) visual motion sensitivity (which addresses sensitivity to motion).

Malfunctioning in the vestibular-ocular reflex, coupled with visual motion sensitivity, tend to be strong predictors of more prolonged recovery time following a concussion.

When a person has a long recovery following a concussion, usually longer than two or three weeks, they have post-concussion syndrome.

Post-concussion syndrome is the persistence of concussion symptoms beyond the ordinary course of recovery.

Most concussion symptoms will resolve within about two weeks, and with proper recovery, almost all dissipate within a month.

Women are at greater risk than men for suffering from post-concussion syndrome.

Whether sport-related or otherwise, a concussion can result in cognitive, physical, emotional, and sleep-related symptoms and impairments.

The evidence is mounting that vestibular-related impairments and symptoms are essential to assess after concussions.

Clinicians need to identify and quantify vestibular impairments and symptoms after concussions.

Vestibular Ocular Motor Screening testing is one way to measure how the brain is functioning. Weekly repeat testing can detect changes in functioning which will help indicate how the brain is responding to therapy.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”