In order to help researchers at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital learn more about the effects concussions have on the growing brains of young athletes, some of our football athletes volunteered to be part of a concussion study.
According to All Children’s website, over the course of three years, researchers will study concussions and changes in brain function by monitoring hits to the head through unique mouth guards. The mouth guards, equipped with special sensors, will track the location and force of the hit. The sensors store data which is then retrieved for researchers to study. Researchers are also performing neuropsychological assessments to monitor changes in cognitive, emotional and behavioral function over time. Additionally, they are collecting biospecimens, including urine, blood and saliva, with a goal to discover whether there may be new biomarkers that indicate a brain injury and how a young athlete’s body might respond. Learn more about this concussion study.
“I think this study as well as all of the other concussion research going on is important because as much as we have learned over the past several years, there is so much we still don’t know,” said Arielle Ribel, athletic trainer at Admiral Farragut Academy. “I think this study is unique because we not only have the data from the mouth guard sensors, the researchers also had our kids do a computerized test, a paper test, and saliva, blood, and urine samples. They plan to follow the same group of kids into the future to see how they are affected. They can go in whatever direction they want with the information they gather to create further studies.”