Nicholas Cotsonika of Yahoo! Sports wrote about the consortium called National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study that the NCAA awarded $400,000 earlier this year. In Cotsonika’s article there is a depth and breadth to the research and it actually has a very good design upon first glance;
A new study hopes to deepen our understanding of brain trauma by studying hundreds of athletes over a broad spectrum of sports, including professional hockey.
Researchers plan to follow players from high school to college to the pros, measuring their exposure to traumatic forces and their brain function along the way. They will keep following them into retirement, all the way to death.
Eventually researchers will have detailed data to compare athletes to each other – both women and men; from non-contact sports like swimming to contact sports like hockey – giving a clearer picture of a still cloudy issue.
“That’s the ideal, to pick up athletes when they’re that young and follow them over time,” said Jeffrey Kutcher, a concussion expert and a founder of the study. “The scope of this is that the other primary investigators and I hope that this study outlives us, that this will provide a clearing house for all questions regarding the effects of trauma from playing sports on human brains.”
It is a very long-term study, however there is hope that small samples can be gained over the initial phases that will direct and lead us to further understanding. Now if I could only get Kutcher to include me in on the research everything would be golden!!! Haha.