Hoping to build upon the existing research knowledge about head impact injuries, in 2014 the U.S. Department of Defense and the NCAA jointly launched the biggest concussion study to date, with $30 million in initial funding support. 

Called the NCAA-DOD CARE (Concussion Assessment, Research and Education) Consortium, the study has gathered data from over 40,000 college athletes and service academy cadets since its inception, including 3,500 concussed participants.

Michael McCrea, PhD, of the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), serves as one of the CARE Consortium’s three principal investigators. He will be sharing insights from the study as one of the featured speakers at the 2019 US Lacrosse Sports Medicine Symposium, presented in partnership with MedStar Health, on January 11 in Philadelphia. 

“The early findings from the first phase of the study have provided us with extensive data on injury and recovery,” said McCrea, who also serves as a professor of neurosurgery and co-director of brain research at MCW. “We have a large data set that now tells us more about both the acute effects of injury and the natural history of recovery.”

The study’s initial testing involved both male and female athletes in all sports from 30 participating campuses. The second phase of the study, launching shortly, will feature just six schools with athletes undergoing advanced brain imaging and blood draws. The aim is to enhance understanding about the intermediate and cumulative effects of concussion and repetitive head impact exposure.

“This is a deeper dive into some advanced research involving MRI scanning and blood bio markers that may ultimately help us to understand how long it takes the brain to recover,” McCrea said.

The goal of the CARE Consortium is to increase the concussion knowledge base through science, and to use that information to help determine the proper education and care protocols. 

“Data is now driving our approach in taking care of athletes,” McCrea said, “including the development of safer return to play protocols.”

McCrea’s presentation on January 11 will delve deeper into some of the findings from the NCAA-DOD CARE Consortium, including points of emphasis for both medical and non-medical attendees.

The 2019 US Lacrosse Sports Medicine Symposium is open to all members of the medical and lacrosse communities, including physicians, athletic trainers, physical therapists, coaches, and parents. See the full line-up of speakers and topics

While hosted in conjunction with the 2019 US Lacrosse Convention, registration for the Symposium is independent of the convention. Those attendees registering for the convention may however add a symposium registration for just $35.

2019 Sports Medicine Symposium

The one-day event will provide comprehensive information on men’s and women’s lacrosse-specific sports injuries and prevention. Open to all attendees.

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