UVA studies impact of concussions in young athletes

January 29, 2014

"Helmet? Check. Shoulder pads? Check. Tiny biometric brain injury sensor? Check.

You won’t see the quarter-sized computerized devices tucked behind their ears, but more than 100 local high school and college athletes are donning the sensors during games and practices as part of UVA’s latest push to understand what happens when a player’s brain receives a concussion.

Dr. Jason Druzgal, a neuroradiologist at the University, is leading the charge.

'Part of the problem is there’s not a great consensus about how to manage concussions after the fact,' said Druzgal. 'We do know that if they’re managed inappropriately and someone is returned to play too soon, they have an increased risk for a subsequent concussion. And that’s a real problem. We need better tools to determine when people should be cleared to return to play.'"

Read the complete article from the C-Ville Weekly here.

Posted on October 26, 2015 .

UVA researchers study effects of hard hitting sports on the brain

November 9, 2013

"CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – How do hard hits on the sports field affect athletes’ brains? That’s the question Dr. Jason Druzgal, assistant professor of neuroradiology at the University of Virginia’s School of Medicine, wants to answer.

'[We’re studying to] see if we can detect any effects of repeated sub-concussive hits to the head, before somebody gets too old, ' Druzgal said.

They also want to find 'better ways to diagnose concussion around the time that the concussions happen,' he said.

They’ve recruited several athlete volunteers, who play sports like football, soccer and lacrosse, at college and high school levels. Using a patch from Seattle based company X2 Biosystems, researchers affix adhesive sensors behind the ears of players.

'We can get a record over the course of the season of who is getting hit harder and more often to the head,' Druzgal said.

Historically, sensors have only been attached to helmets, but Druzgal said athletes who play all kinds of sports can wear the patches.

They hope the results will fill a void in the medical research community."

Read the complete article from WTOP here.

Posted on October 26, 2015 .

Concussion Study at UVa Focuses on Sports Without Helmets

November 6, 2013

"As more and more information comes out about concussions in football players, one group of scientists at the University of Virginia wanted to find out more about those types of head injuries to players of sports without helmets.

The UVa School of Medicine researchers is using a sensor that can be placed behind the ear that can measure impacts to the head.

They put these sensors on college and high school athletes who play men and women's soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, and football at UVa and the Saint Anne's Belfield School.

Dr. Howard Goodkin, a professor of Neurology at UVa, says this study goes beyond the scope of others."

Watch the Newsplex news coverage and read the complete article here.

Posted on October 23, 2015 .

UVA Study Measures Effects of Head Trauma in Sports

November 6, 2013

"The University of Virginia is tackling the problem of sports head injuries and concussions. A new study there measures the effects of head trauma in football, lacrosse and soccer.

In prior studies, players wore sensors in helmets. But in this one, UVA football players and some high school athletes are wearing sensors behind their ears while they play. Researchers hope to figure out how trauma affects the brains of young players."


Read complete article from NBC29 here.

Posted on October 23, 2015 .

UVA Grants Fund Medicine of Tomorrow!

(Photo, l-r: Coleen McNamara, MD, and Angela Taylor, MD; Jeffrey Elias, MD; Jason Druzgal, MD; Ira Hall, PhD; and Chris Kramer, MD.)

(Photo, l-r: Coleen McNamara, MD, and Angela Taylor, MD; Jeffrey Elias, MD; Jason Druzgal, MD; Ira Hall, PhD; and Chris Kramer, MD.)

March 20, 2013

"The University of Virginia Health System has selected five ambitious proposals that could create transformative advances in medicine as the inaugural recipients of its new clinical research grants.

Funded by the UVA Medical Center, the grants program aims to nourish innovative ideas at UVA that will shape the healthcare of the future. The projects selected for the first round of grants, totaling almost $2.4 million over three years:

  • An evaluation of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) in student athletes, determining the correlation between head impacts and physiological changes in the brain. Principal investigator: Jason Druzgal, MD.
  • An investigation of focused ultrasound technology to manage/control the motor symptoms other than tremor in Parkinson’s disease. Principal investigator: Jeffrey Elias, MD.
  • An effort to detect mutations in children’s cancers that could lead to novel, personalized treatments. Principal investigator: Ira Hall, PhD.
  • A study using MRI to determine the prevalence of microvascular (small vessel) disease, a heart condition that may cause angina in patients with normal coronary arteries (larger vessels). Principal investigator: Chris Kramer, MD.
  • Rapid advancement to human testing of novel genetic and cellular factors discovered to regulate artery plaque buildup, potentially leading to a blood test for early coronary artery disease — and possibly suggesting new treatment strategies. Principal investigators: Coleen McNamara, MD, and Angela Taylor, MD."

Read complete article here!


Posted on March 28, 2013 .