Queensland Brain Institute Study on Impacts of Concussion to Involve 300 Athletes

By on November 21, 2017

From ABC News:  Justin Clarke was a promising defender for the Brisbane Lions when a head knock at a training session dramatically changed his life.

The concussion Mr Clarke suffered was so severe he was forced to retire from professional football at just 22 years old.

Now a groundbreaking study by the Queensland Brain Institute involving 300 athletes is hoping to shed some light on how repetitive concussion affects the brain.

Researcher Dr Fatima Nasrallah said healthy athletes have an MRI at the start of the study and have regular follow up tests if they sustain a concussion.

“On the standard, very conventional types of imaging you really can’t see structural damage to the brain,” Dr Masrallah said.

“So what we’re trying to do is develop more sensitive methods, and biomarkers, to be able to detect the subtle changes that you see in mild injury or concussion.”

Mr Clarke said he was at a training session in January last year when he jumped up to catch a ball and collided with another player.

“The initial concerns were about the spine and then it transitioned to being about recovery from a concussion, which I just never really did,” he said.

“All the concussion symptoms most people experience for a week or so to get better, they just stuck around for months.”

Mr Clarke said he spent the first month after the concussion unable to get out of bed.

“Progressing to being able to go out for a walk on a flat level surface on a cool morning, that was the next two months.

“I couldn’t get through a full conversation without slurring my words and losing my place within a sentence.”

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