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Groundbreaking, long-term study of head injuries among athletes kicks off with NCAA grant
Date:3/14/2012

p>"There's a tremendous need for data that describe both the short and long-term health consequences of concussions," says Kutcher, who also is director of the Michigan Neurosport Concussion Program at U-M. "There are some hints, and a series of case reports in the literature, but no well-controlled study that addresses the long-term questions. To do that study, and do it correctly, requires following a population of athletes over time and documenting their brain function, while controlling for other variables."

David Klossner, the NCAA's director of health and safety, said supporting the consortium's study will aid efforts to promote a safe competitive environment.

"The NCAA is seeking to foster innovative research among its member universities to increase knowledge about the short-term and long-term neurological consequences of playing sports," Klossner said. "In addition to monitoring trends in concussions through the Association's injury-surveillance system, this research is another important step to enhance student-athlete safety."

In this first phase of the study, the Consortium researchers will study athletes in contact sports in men's football, soccer, basketball ice hockey, and lacrosse; women's water polo, soccer, basketball, field hockey, and lacrosse. Non-contact sport participants also will be recruited from the track and field and swimming and diving teams.

Kutcher believes the data the study collects will provide a more comprehensive understanding of concussions. The short-term effects have been examined for several years, and technological advancements have helped improve the understanding of impacts on the brain by using shock sensors embedded in players' helmets.

"There has been considerable attention paid to concussion recently, by the media and others, spurred by reports of National Football League players, hockey players people who have had a long history of contact having a very particular kind o
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Contact: Mary F. Masson
mfmasson@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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