Medical College receives $1.9 million grant to study concussions

March 6, 2012

The Medical College of Wisconsin will use a $1.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to study the most effective methods for screening for concussions.

Each year, 1.7 million people experience a concussion - also called a traumatic brain injury - resulting in 2,000 deaths and 275,000 hospitalizations. Concussions are especially prevalent among military forces, leading the U.S. Army to seek neurocognitive assessment tools.

A number of computerized tools have been developed to determine the severity and cognitive effects of concussions, but little data exists on the tools' reliability and validity.

Michael McCrea, director of brain injury research at the Medical College, is the primary investigator of the grant. He will compare four leading assessment tools to measure their reliability in detecting cognitive impairments in both athletes and civilians who have suffered concussions. Additionally, the tests will be evaluated for their value in detecting recovery time so standards for returning to duty post-concussion can be set.

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