Michigan Concussion Center begins collaboration with U-M Athletic Medicine

January 28, 2020


By admin

Aerial photo of the U-M Athletic Campus. Photo: Michigan Photography.

University of Michigan student-athletes will soon directly benefit from a new partnership between Athletic Medicine and the Michigan Concussion Center as researchers and medical professionals build upon their previous collaborations.

Starting in 2015, U-M Athletics became an inaugural member of the NCAA and Department of Defense (DoD) funded Concussion Assessment, Research, and Education (CARE) Consortium, the largest study of sport concussion ever conducted. Every Michigan student-athlete is eligible to participate in the CARE Consortium to better understand the short- and long-term effects of concussion. Participating student-athletes complete a pre-season evaluation and five post-injury assessments when a concussion is diagnosed. Data from U-M student-athletes, 29 other universities, and military service academies have contributed to NCAA and DoD guidelines and best practices for concussion management. 

As the current phase of the CARE Consortium comes to a close in 2020, new efforts have been made to continue a partnership that ensures the latest concussion science is translated into clinical care for our student-athletes, while also providing important research insights to the U-M concussion community. The collaborative efforts between the Michigan Concussion Center and Athletic Medicine will refine the existing pre-season baseline assessments for comparison to post-injury evaluations, resulting in cutting-edge diagnosis and care for concussed athletes. 

“We are happy to share our research and clinical expertise with Athletics so we can maintain the highest level of athletic medicine for all of our Michigan student-athletes,” said Professor Steven Broglio, director of the Michigan Concussion Center. “We view it as mutually beneficial. We gain valuable insight into the challenges they face in providing clinical care and we can translate cutting-edge science that addresses those issues with our community and beyond.” 

“Ultimately, the partnership helps improve the health and safety of our student-athletes. We want to not only know how to better manage our concussed athletes, but also learn how to prevent, intervene, and identify early warning signs so we can make changes even before someone is injured,” said Dr. Sami Rifat, medical director of Athletic Medicine. 

“It’s an exciting opportunity to partner and learn from the best in the world,” said Darryl Conway, senior associate athletic director of student athlete health & welfare. “It’s also an opportunity for Athletics to contribute to the worldwide knowledge of concussion,” he added.

“Having all of these people who are really knowledgeable helps us stay on the cutting edge [of research],” Rifat said. “We’re benefiting from the knowledge of many researchers from the University of Michigan, across the country, and around the world, from their published findings and yet-to-be-published findings. So we’re dynamically changing what we do as the science dictates.”  

Michigan Concussion Center faculty are focused on maximizing patient health and outcomes. This collaboration is a first step in bringing concussion thought leaders together to exchange ideas and catalyze new research that will be shared broadly with the campus community, external organizations, and the public at large.