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      Northern Michigan University study on concussions in kids

      Does your child play hockey or soccer? Well, NMU researchers are looking to develop an evaluation system for kids suffering from concussions.

      A blow to a child's head while playing sports could create a concussion that can have a long-term affect on your child by slowing down their brain development.

      "We may think they're absolutely fine, but then when they hit 12 or 13 years old, then all of a sudden they're not able to learn how to do Algebra, Geometry; do some of the higher level thinking," said Julianne Kirkham, Clinical Nuero Psychologist, MGH.

      Maggy Moore, with NMU'S Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, said the research studies how a child's brain normally works. They will assess at least one hundred kids who volunteer from the Marquette area, between the ages of five to eleven.

      Results will help design an immediate post concussion assessment cognitive test for kids which will help evaluate how their brain is affected after a concussion.

      "After that, if they have a concussion at some point in time, then we are able to go back and find out how it compares to what their baseline was, what their previous test showed," said Maggy Moore, Assistant Professor, NMU.

      The way it works is kids will take a series of memory games on an iPad; games like red light green light, shopping list, and following a red dot.

      "We will examine their reaction time, their short and long-term memory; their motor processing speed, which is kind of how they change direction," Moore said.

      So the volunteers will take three exams: an initial baseline test, then another one a week later and finally a month later. If the child has a concussion, they will be able to compare results and find out what abnormal brain functions a child may experience.

      If you want to participate contact, Maggy Moore at (906) 227-2228.