Participants

A Typical Tracking Session

1. Participants will be required to sign a consent form detailing the specifics of our research and their contribution. Trained researchers will verbally explain all information contained in the consent form and answer any questions.

2. Trained researchers will verbally present the participants with a short questionnaire requesting basic contact information, date of birth and past neurological, ophthalmological and surgical history.

The questionnaire will be followed by a Sports Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3) and other assessments. All assessments are performed for quantitative data collection purposes regardless of whether the participant has had a history of concussion.

4. After all paperwork is completed, a trained researcher will begin the eye-tracking, blood draw or both depending on which aspects of the study the participant would like to enroll into. Eye tracking participants will watch a video clip of their choice for about 3 minutes and complete a digital visual acuity test.

5. Once the data is captured and saved, participants will complete a visual acuity test.

6. After signing a receipt, participants will be paid their honorarium. Participants are allowed to withdraw from the study at any point before, during or after participation.

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Commonly Asked Questions

1. Do I qualify as a participant?

We are looking for a wide range of participants. Our lab conducts numerous studies, each focusing on different groups of people. Our goal is to obtain as many participants as we can. We have very limited exclusion criteria so please contact us even if you are not sure you qualify.

You do NOT have to have a pre-existing condition of any kind in order to participate. We need normal, healthy controls from the general population to participate in our study. Data from the general population will allow us to create a baseline for what normal tracking should resemble. We are interested in observing how different pathologies affect eye movements so we heavily urge patients with neurological or ophthalmological conditions to participate. Some conditions of interest are concussion, hydrocephalus, subarachnoid hemorrhage, subdural hemorrhage, Chiari, ADHD, dementia, headache or dizziness and stroke. We are particularly interested in all trauma patients.

2. How long does a visit last?

One eye tracking sessions lasts about fifteen minutes. The first ten minutes will entail the consenting, questionnaire and SCAT3 process. The eye tracking itself is a two hundred and twenty second video. And finally a basic visual acuity test takes no more than three minutes. Those who also consent to a blood draw will have to stay an additional fifteen minutes to complete a typical blood draw session. Participants are welcome to stay longer and learn about our research in detail from the volunteers present.

3. How much does a visit cost?

There is no cost to the participant associated with tests conducted in the research lab. In fact, all research participants will be paid a small honorarium for each visit.

4. What are your hours?

The research lab is staffed seven days a week and does not always require an appointment. Please call 612-873-7190 or email braininjuryresearch@hcmed.org to arrange a visit. If you have a recent concussion, trauma or other neurological condition, please contact us for an urgent visit – data obtained while participants are symptomatic is indispensable to us.

5. Can I obtain medical care at the Brain Injury Research Lab?

Our research laboratory does not provide patient care – it only performs research. Though we run a variety of tests, and some studies will involve being seen by a physician or other health care provider, the lab is not staffed by physicians and does not provide care. Our research work is governed by rules from the Institutional Review Boards of Hennepin County Medical Center and subjects must sign a research consent form to participate. This also means we cannot write prescriptions for medications or treatment. We recommend that patients seen in our laboratory continue to see their regularly scheduled physicians.

If you suffer from concussion, we can refer you to The Traumatic Brain Injury Center at Hennepin County Medical Center for medical care.