Congrats, Dr. Reynolds!

August 3, 2016

Yesterday, Bryson Reynolds successfully defended his dissertation, "Subconcussion Exposure in Sport and the Effects on Spontaneous Brain Activity and Functional Brain Connectivity." Great work, Bryson!

Posted on August 3, 2016 .

PhD Student at UVA Discovers New Data Related to Brain Trauma

April 1, 2016


A neuroscience P.h.D student at the University of Virginia has discovered new data related to brain trauma in collegiate football players.

Bryson Reynolds found that the football players compared to healthy soccer, lacrosse and non-athletic males experienced sub-concussions, or disruptions in connectivity of the brain. The other men in the study experienced no brain activity changes in the same time frame."

Read the rest of the story from NBC29 here.

Posted on June 13, 2016 .

Subconcussions Cause Changes to Brain

March 31, 2016

"The average college football player receives about 1,000 head impacts each season. Some of these hits result in concussions – traumatic head injury that results in short-term, and possibly even long-term, damage to brain function.

But what are the effects of the hundreds of routine head impacts, called subconcussions, that occur during a four-month season of practice sessions and games?

A University of Virginia neuroscience Ph.D. candidate is trying to find out.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging – fMRI – Bryson Reynolds studied the brain activity and connectivity of a group of healthy college football players, before and after a competitive season, and compared the data to brain-activity scans of healthy male college soccer and lacrosse players, and to a control group of college male non-athletes."

Read the full article from UVAToday here.

Posted on June 13, 2016 .

Long-Sought NCAA Football Practice Legislation Finally Within Sight

August 10, 2015

Associated Press

Associated Press

"When researchers at the University of Virginia discovered a relationship between the type of equipment worn by their school’s football players at practice and the head impacts sustained as a result, they didn’t think much of it at first. 

After attaching sensors behind 20 football players' ears, the researchers had found that players experienced a much smaller average number of head hits during helmet-only practices than they did during shell practices and full-pad practices. When it came to the severity of the hit, the same was true: helmet-only practices looked safer. According to researchers, 'the level of protective equipment worn is generally a good proxy measure for the intensity of a practice.'"

Read the complete article from the Huffington Post here.

Posted on October 27, 2015 .

College Football Head Impact Study Suggests Steps to Reduce Risk

August 5, 2015

The U.Va. players in the study suffered the most frequent head impacts during games, but as the amount of padding increased during practices, so did the frequency and cumulative effect of head impacts.  (Photo: Sanjay Suchak)

The U.Va. players in the study suffered the most frequent head impacts during games, but as the amount of padding increased during practices, so did the frequency and cumulative effect of head impacts.

(Photo: Sanjay Suchak)

"Despite growing concerns about concussions, the NCAA has not regulated full-contact football practices, arguing that there’s insufficient data available about head impacts. A new study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine begins to address that lack of data, detailing the number and severity of sub-concussive head impacts over the course of an entire season.

The researchers conclude that the NCAA’s lack of regulation comes at a cost to college players that seems 'unnecessarily high' and call for changes to reduce head impacts.

'Unlike the proactive approach of the NFL [which has enacted practice rules to limit head injuries], the NCAA has been waiting for data to support their evolving football guidelines and regulations,' said lead researcher Dr. Jason Druzgal of U.Va.’s Department of Radiology and Medical Imaging. 'The results of our study start to provide some of that data.'"

Read the full press release from UVA Today here.

Posted on October 27, 2015 .

UVA College Football Head Impact Study Suggests Steps to Reduce Risk

August 4, 2015

"Researchers at the University of Virginia say too many college football players are receiving unnecessary hits during practice and they're calling on the NCAA to regulate practices.

As it stands right now the NCAA does not regulate full-contact practices of college teams. The organization says it is waiting on data to make any big moves on regulating equipment or practices operations. UVA neuroscience researchers say they now have data available for the NCAA to consider.  

UVA researchers conducted a study where they had UVA football players wear a high-tech impact-sensing patch behind their ear during 12 games, 27 full-pad practices, 29 half-pad practices and 10 helmet-only practices.  The study looked at the types of practices in which football players experience head trauma."

Read the full article from NBC29 here.

Posted on October 27, 2015 .

College Football Study: Players Need More Protection from Head Injury

August 4, 2015

"CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) -- Practice makes perfect, but could it also be dangerous? A group of University of Virginia researchers think so, especially when it comes to college football.

Currently, the NCAA does not regulate full-contact football practices, saying there's insufficient data on head impacts. However, after conducting a football season's worth of studies on UVa's own players, UVa researchers say they have proof more regulations are needed to protect players from frequent, or hard, hits during practice.

'We need to protect the athletes as they come up to protect the sport as a whole,' said neuroscience doctoral candidate Bryson Reynolds.

Reynolds was part of a team of researchers that studied the number and severity of subconcussions UVa players receive in a season."

Watch the Newsplex coverage and read the complete article here.

Posted on October 27, 2015 .

Concussion Discussion

Spring 2014

"Earlier this year, the National Football League reached a preliminary settlement with former players who had suffered head injuries during their careers. The amount was staggering: $765 million, and there was concern that it might not actually be enough to cover the nearly 20,000 players who would be eligible.

The settlement became part of the ongoing conversation that has taken place over the last decade or more about the risks and long-term consequences of repeated blows to the head in professional athletes, a conversation that has awakened public awareness of the topic of mild to moderate brain injury, especially sports-related injuries.

With its newly organized Brain Injury and Sports Concussion (BISC) Institute, the University of Virginia Health System is hoping to add to this dialogue, leading the way in creating new understanding about the pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury, understanding that will help prevent those long-term consequences.

Among the many research initiatives within the institute is a project with student athletes led by neuroradiologist Jason Druzgal, MD, PhD. The assistant professor of radiology is trying to tease out some of the diagnostic difficulties of concussion through research that looks for correlations between physiological findings and how hard and how often an athlete sustains an impact to the head."

Read the full article from UVA Vitals here.

Posted on October 26, 2015 .