Sports-related concussions have become a subject of deep concern in recent years, with Congress holding hearings on the issue, retired players suing sports leagues for alleged damage they've suffered, and new research pointing to degeneration in injured athletes' brains over time.
Now, in an effort to better understand the long-term consequences of sports-related concussions, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is funding a study by a consortium of researchers who will examine the effects of head injuries on student-athletes over the course of their college careers and beyond.
The National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study Consortium will be led by experts from the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center, the University of Michigan, the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The NCAA will provide $400,000 to begin funding the logitudinal study.
"There is growing concern about the cumulative effect of concussions on long-term cognitive health, and yet our current understanding of what factors contribute to later problems is inadequate," said Dr. Christopher Giza, the study's principal investigator at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA, where he is an associate professor of pediatric neurology and neurosurgery. "One major goal of this research is to identify these factors so that the risks for chronic problems can be minimized."
UCLA will be directly involved in the design and execution of the study, the data collection and management, and the analysis and dissemination of the results. At UCLA, the study will involve collaborations between specialists in pediatric neurology, sports medicine, neuropsychology and neurosurgery.
As part of the study, researchers will evaluate more than 1,000 male and female college athletes competing in 11 sports, both contact and non-contact, in an attempt to study the short-term and long
|Contact: Amy Albin|
University of California - Los Angeles Health Sciences