Posted June 19, 2012

Big Ten, Ivy League team up for research on head injuries in sports

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The Big Ten and Ivy League will collaborate on a study of head injuries in sports. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Big Ten and Ivy League will work together to study concussions and other head injuries occurring in sports, the two conferences announced Tuesday, reports ESPN.com‘s Adam Rittenberg.

The agreement between the two sides will revolve around a study of athletes in the conferences who agree to participate. Teams of doctors and other specialists will evaluate these athletes over time, so as to have a baseline to better compare the effects of any injuries suffered during their playing careers.

“If we can pull it off, and there’s a good chance we can do it, this would be the largest research undertaking,” Dr. Dennis Molfese, the director of the center for brain, biology and behavior at the University of Nebraska, told Rittenberg. “The big problem with concussion research in the past is you end up looking at people who suffer a concussion, but you never know what they were like before they experienced a concussion. So that’s one thing, from a scientific standpoint, to have a level where you can do this.

“It’s quite unique to be able to track large groups of individuals over time, knowing what their state was before they experienced the concussion.”

Rittenberg reports the two conferences started talking about the partnership in September. Combining resources gives them a larger pool of athletes to potentially volunteer for the study and more resources to conduct the research.