Nebraska's athletics department will be teaming up a new lab located on the east side of Lincoln's Memorial Stadium. The school's Board of Regents unanimously approved the $5 million project on Friday, and the new lab will open in 2013.
Essentially, what Nebraska is looking to do is to study the effects of head injuries on the brains of athletes. Since my brain is only capable of discussing football-related information (and even that's debatable), I'll just quote the Omaha World-Herald's story to give you the details of the study.
On average, [developmental psychologist Dennis] Molfese said, a college football team suffers 20 to 22 significant head injuries each season. The 12 football teams in the Big Ten thus would create a pool of more than 240 student-athletes to study.So not only could this study help football teams identify concussions faster, it could also help us understand the effects concussions and head injuries have on the brain.
Molfese hopes to obtain baseline pictures of incoming athletes' brains to examine how they change through injury and recovery. He envisions developing iPad applications to diagnose concussions on the field. He wants to study athletes' brain patterns before and after a performance.
Molfese said the Committee on Institutional Cooperation — the Big Ten's academic arm — has received inquiries from the Ivy League, Pac-12 and other conferences about joining the effort.
Given what we've only just begun learning about concussions and their long-term effects, the more information that scientists, coaches and players can have at their disposal, the better off everybody is.
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