Home Education and Careers Diocese of Wilmington students to get free brain-screening to test ocular motor...

Diocese of Wilmington students to get free brain-screening to test ocular motor function

Dr. Vince Schaller, medical director of the Mid-Atlantic Concussion Alliance, tests a patient in 2017 at his Pike Creek office. Schaller has worked with the diocese on concussion awareness for several years. (The Dialog/Mike Lang)

The Diocese of Wilmington is teaming up with the Mid-Atlantic Concussion Alliance (MAC Alliance) and EyeGuide Inc. to offer free brain screening for students in the diocese. The MAC Alliance began the screening program last month at St. John the Beloved, Holy Angels and St. Peter Cathedral schools.

The testing will be free for students in the diocese. All 30 schools and nearly 8,500 students will be screened, according to the alliance.

“We are excited to partner with MAC Alliance on this important new brain health screening program that will rapidly test ocular motor function of our students while providing our families with objective brain health data and connectivity to expert medical care, if and when needed,” said Louis De Angelo, diocesan superintendent of schools.

The MAC Alliance is a network of certified medical professionals and athletic trainers located throughout Delaware, Pennsylvania and elsewhere in the mid-Atlantic. It is using EyeGuide Focus, an eye-tracking technology and platform that charts and anaylzes objective data to provide immediate feedback.

The technology collects 1,200 data points from an individual’s eye movements to track brain health at various stages in just 10 seconds. They can be used to form a baseline, after activities and for ongoing monitoring, according to the MAC Alliance.

Dr. Vincent Schaller, founder of MAC Alliance, said the screening will provide outreach and education for diocesan families “that can be used now and at any point in the future.”

The diocese first teamed up with MAC Alliance in 2014, offering a pilot program that offered baseline brain-function testing. That program aimed to test all students in Catholic schools and all youngsters playing Catholic Youth Ministry football.