From the Medical College of Wisconsin:
The Medical College of Wisconsin has received a three-year, $1.9 million grant from the Department of Defense’s U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command (USAMRMC) to determine the most valid, effective screening tool for concussion, or mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI.)
Michael McCrea, Ph.D., professor of neurosurgery and neurology and the director of brain injury research at the Medical College, is the primary investigator of the grant, which is entitled “An Independent, Prospective, Head to Head Study of the Reliability and Validity of Neurocognitive Test Batteries for the Assessment of Mild Traumatic Brain Injury.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.7 million people experience a traumatic brain injury every year. Those injuries cause 2,000 deaths and 275,000 hospitalizations.
Concussions, or mTBI’s, are a significant public health problem among athletes, as well as military forces. A number of computerized neurocognitive assessment tools have been developed in recent years to diagnose the severity and cognitive effects of mTBI, but there is little data on their reliability, validity and clinical utility.
In this study, Dr. McCrea will compare the four leading assessment tools to measure their reliability in detecting cognitive impairments in both athletes and civilians who have suffered mTBI. Additionally, the tests will be evaluated for their value in detecting the time course for clinical recovery.
The ultimate goals of Dr. McCrea’s research are to reduce the negative impact of concussion, enhance assessment techniques, and to identify clear and validated “return to duty” standards following a concussion.
About the Medical College of Wisconsin
The Medical College of Wisconsin is the state’s only private medical school and health sciences graduate school. Founded in 1893, it is dedicated to leadership and excellence in education, patient care, research and service. More than 1,200 students are enrolled in the Medical College’s medical school and graduate school programs. A major national research center, it is the largest research institution in the Milwaukee metro area and second largest in Wisconsin. In FY 2010 – 11, faculty received more than $175 million in external support for research, teaching, training and related purposes, of which more than $161 million is for research. This total includes highly competitive research and training awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Annually, College faculty direct or collaborate on more than 2,200 research studies, including clinical trials. Additionally, more than 1,350 physicians provide care in virtually every specialty of medicine for more than 400,000 patients annually.