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Penn launches five-year study on sports-related concussions

The University of Pennsylvania is teaming up with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) on a five-year study to improve the diagnosis of sports-related concussions.

The study will be funded by a $4.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health. According to PhillyVoice.com, researchers hope the findings will also help to create better equipment to protect athletes in various sports. 

From the article:

The focus of the research will be on translating objective metrics – such as activity, balance, neurosensory processing and cerebral blood flow – for practical use. Brain function in teenage boys and girls between the ages of 14-18 years old will serve as the basis for the bulk of the study, with parallel lab studies on pigs to help researchers replicate assessment conditions in a controlled environment.

“To truly advance the science and answer the complex questions around concussion(s) requires us to integrate protocols that will involve multiple disciplines and methods, instrumenting athletes on the field, using animal models in the laboratory and in-depth clinical observation of patients with concussion,” says Dr. Kristy Arbogast, co-scientific director of the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP. “We’ll develop evidence-based criteria that can inform policy, equipment design and clinical practice.”

The article notes that one of the study’s objectives is to improve guidelines for return-to-play after an athlete suffers a concussion. 

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