More Information About Study NCAA Gave Grant For

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.

3 thoughts on “More Information About Study NCAA Gave Grant For

  1. A Concerned Mom April 10, 2012 / 11:37

    I believe this is a youtube of the Kutcher in the study. (Jeffrey S. Kutcher, M.D., Play Smart: Injury Prevention on and off the Field, a 2011 National Public Health Week).

    Personally, I would like to see all schools keep track of concussions (like MA). I think that information could be very valuable.

  2. joe bloggs April 10, 2012 / 15:54

    Wow! Following players from mighty mights to the pros with 400K budget. Even grad students don’t work that cheap. The overhead for 1 year at the combined centers will exhaust this budget.

    Even if properly funded it would take decades to generate a clinically useful result. There are faster ways to produce clinical results and money should not be wasted on studies that can offer no guidance for years.

  3. A Concerned Mom April 10, 2012 / 17:18

    “Lauren Caruso of Plaistow hit her head on the ground three years ago, when the Timberlane Regional High School lacrosse coach instructed players to wrestle each other during a practice. Her parents weren’t notified until an hour and a half later, when Caruso’s friends noticed she was “acting funny,” she told the House Education Committee. Since then, Caruso has suffered from cognitive and memory problems and fatigue, and is taking online classes from home because she can’t return to school.

    “My story is extreme of what can go wrong,” she said. “A split second wrong decision by a coach, athletic trainer or any school can have lasting effects on a student athlete.”

    The committee decided not to vote on the measure until the House fiscal committee studies whether it will require any funding.”

    Seems like there are problems with coaches who aren’t properly trained. Too bad states are dragging their feet making sure youth athletes, coaches, and parents are informed.

    Schools are funny. Many states have mandates on technology, so classrooms have smart boards and other gadgets for testing, etc. I’ve even heard of schools getting ipads for every kindergarten student – yet they drag their feet when it comes to protecting kids from brain trauma that can result in permanent cognitive impairment.

    A little money invested in awareness, training, and the establishment of protocols could probably save many kids from serious injury. Of course, someone somewhere would probably say we need to study the problem for a few more years.

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