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U-M is key partner in national concussion research initiative

Abstract image of a brain with data. (stock image)ANN ARBOR—The University of Michigan will play a leading role in the most comprehensive study of concussion and head impact exposure ever conducted.

The $30 million joint initiative between the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the U.S. Department of Defense will enhance the safety of student-athletes and service members. It was announced today at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit.

Steven Broglio, associate professor at the U-M School of Kinesiology and director of the NeuroSport Research Laboratory, is co-principal investigator of the NCAA-DoD Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium. He will co-chair the CARE operating committee and lead the Longitudinal Clinical Study Core, a prospective, multi-institution clinical research protocol whose aim will be to examine the natural history of concussion among NCAA athletes.

"The joint effort between the NCAA and DoD will allow us to answer many of the questions being asked about sport-related concussion," Broglio said. "This unprecedented research will provide the format to evaluate which tools are the most sensitive to the immediate effects of injury and how multiple years of sport participation may influence cognitive health."

About 75 percent of the joint funding will support CARE, which will enroll an estimated 37,000 male and female NCAA student-athletes over a three-year study period. Participants will receive a comprehensive preseason evaluation for concussion and be monitored in the event of an injury. This investigation will be the largest ever of its type, offering critical insight to the risks, treatment and management of concussion.

In addition to Broglio's Longitudinal Clinical Study Core, Indiana University will serve as the Administrative and Operations Core, providing fiduciary oversight and data and analysis management, and the Medical College of Wisconsin will direct the Advanced Research Core, which will study the acute effects and early pattern of recovery from sport-related concussion.

The other 25 percent of the funding will finance an educational grand challenge aimed at changing important concussion safety behaviors and the culture of concussion reporting and management.

"In recent years, NCAA schools have placed a priority on improved concussion management, but we still have many unanswered questions in this area," said NCAA President Mark Emmert. "We believe in the incredible potential of this research. Student-athletes will be first to benefit from this effort, but it also will help to more accurately diagnose, treat and prevent concussions among service men and women, youth sports participants and the broader public."

The consortium's work will expand upon the NCAA National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study, an existing multisite, longitudinal investigation of concussive and repetitive head impacts in NCAA student-athletes.

 

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