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Notre Dame's Bengal Bouts participants aid in concussion research
Date:3/2/2012

njuries is the activation of "matrix metalloproteinases," or MMPs', in particular gelatinase B or MMP-9.

She is working to develop a water-soluble gelatinase inhibitor compound. The water-soluble aspect is critical, because the goal is to make the compound suitable for intravenous administration in the treatment of acute gelatinase-dependent diseases, like concussions.

She and her team of researchers recently achieved a breakthrough that produced a greater than 5,000-fold increase in the water solubility of the compound they are developing. She believes that the compound can eventually be translated from her lab to the clinic for the treatment of traumatic brain injuries, including sports concussions.

Bengal Bouts participants who suffer a concussion during sparring or matches are asked to provide a blood sample that Chang's lab will analyze for elevated levels of MMPs over a period of three weeks. The Bengal Bouts MMP analysis is the first of its kind for any sporting group in the United States.

Another aspect of the concussion research employs a King-Devick test developed by researchers Christian Polebauer and Patrick Flynn of Notre Dame's Department of Computer Science and Engineering. The roughly two-minute test measures the time it takes for an athlete to rapidly scan numbers or words on a computer screen.

Boxers performed a baseline test during physicals for the competition and are tested again after each bout. Athletes suffering from concussion symptoms will have a more difficult time maintaining rapid eye movement during the test and will score lower on it. The test is available on an I-Pad device and can be used ringside to determine if a concussion had occurred.

Moriarity points out that balance testing is a crucial component of concussion testing and balance is often impaired in concussed athletes.

Another study being conducted in conjunction with this year's Bengal Bouts seeks to determine if muscle fatigue has any in
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Contact: James Moriarity
James.D.Moriarity.1@nd.edu
574-631-7497
University of Notre Dame
Source:Eurekalert

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