Beginning August 1, 2015 Azusa Pacific University’s student-athletes will participate in the most comprehensive study of concussion and head-impact exposure ever conducted. This research is part of a joint $30 million initiative by the NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) called the Grand Alliance. APU joins 24 institutions selected nationwide, including Princeton, University of California at Los Angeles, University of North Carolina, and the United States Military Academy at West Point as research sites. APU is one of six schools chosen from 100 applicants to take part in a two-year portion of the study, funded by a $286,609 NCAA-DoD grant.
“Azusa Pacific University is honored to play a role in this significant study that can improve the safety of student-athletes, service members, and the broader public while affirming the university’s ongoing commitment to exemplary concussion protocol,” said Gary Pine, APU athletic director.
The APU sports medicine staff will collect baseline data, including demographics, family history, neurocognitive assessment, and postural stability. In the event of concussion, the sports medicine staff will conduct post-concussion evaluations at prescribed time points: six hours and 24-48 hours, asymptomatic, unrestricted return to play, and six months post-injury.
“In alignment with APU’s 10-year practice, more than 400 student-athletes will receive a thorough preseason evaluation for concussion and be monitored closely in the event of injury,” said April Hoy, assistant athletic director and head athletic trainer.
Led by the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Medical College of Wisconsin, and the University of Michigan, and involving roughly 100 researchers and clinicians nationwide, this study will allow scientists to better understand the true natural history of concussions in athletes. Further, it investigates the correlation between multidimensional predictor and outcome variables associated with sport-related concussions in a common injured sample and single study design. APU’s participation in this important study will ultimately serve to more accurately diagnose, treat, and prevent concussions for all.
Azusa Pacific joined the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as a Division II member in 2014. APU’s 19-sport athletics program has claimed 51 national championships in 12 sports and 119 conference championships, and the Cougars won eight consecutive NAIA Directors’ Cups (2005-12).
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