BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Concussions are still a hot topic among young athletes and their parents, but a new study at Indiana University is looking to put everyone’s mind at ease.
The study, headed up by Dr. Thomas McAllister with the IU School of Psychiatry, is described by the university as the most comprehensive active concussion study in the world. So much so the school is partnering with the University of Michigan and the Medical College of Wisconsin.
On top of the extended partnership with other schools, the NCAA and the Department of Defense are throwing an extra $22.5 million at the study on top of the initial $30 million that was provided by the DOD when the study first started back in 2014..
“Up until this point in time, many of the largest concussion studies included a sample of only 50 people,” Dr. McAllister said. “Because of this support, we have a cohort of close to 4,000 people with concussions.”
The study will examine the long-term affects of concussions on athletes in all NCAA sanctioned sports as well as military cadets at 30 participating schools across the United States. That adds up to a total sample size of around 39,000 people, the largest sample size ever for this kind of study.
McAllister said the larger group of participants makes it possible to answer questions that were impossible to answer with smaller sample sizes.
“A concussion is a very common event,” said McAllister. “Information we get from studying this population can directly inform our knowledge of other traumatic brain injuries. So, this is not just about sports.”
McAllister clarifies that the purpose of the study is not to discourage anyone from playing a sport where concussions are common such as hockey or football. Rather, it’s to have the ability to better understand concussions in order to help develop treatment options for them.
He adds there are just as many health risks to not participating in physical activity as there are visa versa.
(PHOTO: Kathryn Scott Osler/Getty Images)
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