Youth Football Players and Head Impacts: The Sports Neurology Clinic at The CORE Institute® Collaborating with the MORE Foundation to Study Tackle Football’s Real-Time Effects on the Brain

The CORE Institute® announced that The Sports Neurology Clinic in Brighton, Michigan, is collaborating with the MORE Foundation on an in-depth, four-year study of head trauma in local youth football players. The Brighton Football Study will examine the potential chronic results of head trauma by measuring head impacts with helmet sensors and conducting extensive brain function tests before and after each football season. 

“Most current research assesses athletes years and decades after contact exposure. There is a need to evaluate players in real-time, especially before high school,” said Dr. Sean Rose, Director of Clinical Research at The Sports Neurology Clinic, who specializes in sports concussion and neurological disorders in athletes. “Focusing research efforts in this younger age group is a major step toward determining the true risks of repetitive head impacts in contact sport athletes.”

The participating football players, ages nine to nineteen, are members or the Brighton Bulldogs Football and Cheer JV League and Brighton High School’s varsity team. A total of 134 players are participating in the study this year.

The players will be wearing Riddell football helmets equipped with Riddell’s InSite Impact Response System. InSite is a helmet-based head impact monitoring system that communicates wirelessly with a handheld alert monitor, designed to alert coaches and staff on the sideline of atypical on-field head impacts sustained during a football game or practice.  “It provides us with the ability to examine our players if a high impact hit is detected,” said Patrick Seremet, coach and president of the youth football league. “Participation in this research fits directly into our mission of improving player safety at the youth football level.”

“I feel a great responsibility to help provide a safe and healthy atmosphere for high school football,” said Brian Lemons, head coach for Brighton High School Varsity Football. “The information from this is valuable to all and we are proud to be a part of something so meaningful.”

Twice a year, players will also visit The Sports Neurology Clinic at The CORE Institute® for comprehensive neurological and cognitive testing, once before contact practices start and again in the winter.  One of the tests, Brain Network Activation (BNA™) by ElMindA, measures the networks formed in the brain during different tasks.

“Conducting high-quality research studies is needed in the field of brain health and concussion,” Dr. Rose said. “Medical recommendations for concussion, especially regarding retirement decisions, are all over the place simply because research data is lacking.  The goal of this study is to change that.”  

The study is supported by ElMindA (Herzliya, Israel) and Riddell (Rosemont, Illinois). 

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