Virginia Tech is joining the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the Department of Defense in a $30 million national effort to combat concussions among college athletes and active service military personnel. According to a Virginia Tech news release, the initiative funds a comprehensive study of concussion and head impact exposure and will enroll an estimated 25,000 male and female NCAA student-athletes during a 3-year study period. Virginia Tech will focus on athletes participating in various sports, including football and men’s and women’s soccer.

Student athlete participants will receive a comprehensive preseason evaluation for concussion and will be monitored in the event of an injury, as indicated on the Virginia Tech news release. The data collected from injured students will be used to help in the prevention of head injuries US Armed Forces members. Led by the Medical College of Wisconsin, Virginia Tech will participate in the Advanced Research Core of the study. The national effort was launched earlier this year at the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit.

The Advanced Research will include studies that incorporate head impact sensors technologies, biological markers, genetic testing, advanced neuroimaging, and detailed clinical studies explore the acute effects and early pattern of recovery from sport-related concussion. The Virginia Tech news release notes that the research is designed to more fully inform a comprehensive understanding of sport-related concussion and traumatic brain injury.

Also, as part of the core group, Virginia Tech will work directly with the University of California Los Angeles and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. The work has already begun at Virginia Tech with a new sensor system placed behind the ears of soccer players that measures and records head impacts, according to Virginia Tech. Stefan Duma, PhD, will serve as principal investigator of the project for Virginia Tech.

Source: Virginia Tech