Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

USU Co-leads Largest NCAA-DOD Concussion Study in History

A doctor looks at a patient's prosthetic arm. Dr. Paul F. Pasquina examines Sgt. 1st Class Ramon Padilla’s prosthetic arm in his office at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo courtesy of PBS)

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury

Uniformed Service University’s (USU) Dr. Paul Pasquina will co-lead the next phase of the largest concussion and repetitive head impact study in history, the NCAA-U.S. Department of Defense Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium.

Pasquina, professor and chair of USU’s Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, will lead the upcoming phase, known as CARE/Service Academy Longitudinal mTBI Outcomes Study (SALTOS) Integrated Study, as principal investigator for the DoD through USU’s Center for Rehabilitation Sciences Research, coordinating engagement with the four military academies, the military’s Explosive Ordnance and Disposal school at Eglin Air Force Base, as well as the Defense Health Agency’s National Intrepid Center of Excellence for TBI and Intrepid Spirit Centers at Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.

CARE is the most comprehensive and prospective study of its kind, and is the product of the historic NCAA-DOD Grand alliance created in 2014. The Consortium seeks to better understand concussion, as well as Head Impact Exposure (HIE), with broad aims to enhance the health and safety of NCAA student-athletes and military service members. It is also the first major concussion study to assess both women and men in 24 sports, and serves as a valuable resource for youth sports participants and society at large. Prior to CARE, most concussion literature came from men’s football and men’s ice hockey. Leveraging its extensive infrastructure and experienced research team, the consortium has now published more than 80 scientific papers that have been critical to advancing the science of mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI)/concussion and HIE.

The initial phase of CARE focused on the six-month natural history and neurobiology of acute concussion and HIE. The second phase, CARE 2.0, prospectively investigated the intermediate effects -- such as changes in brain health outcomes over a college career -- and early persistent health effects associated with HIE and concussion soon after graduation. CARE/SALTOS will investigate the nature and causes of long-term effects of HIE and concussion/mTBI in NCAA student-athletes and military service members.

“As a former member of West Point’s varsity football team, where I sustained several concussions, my interest in this study is both personal and professional,” Pasquina said. “There remain a number of unanswered questions surrounding concussion and head impact exposure that we hope to be able to help answer through this study. Our team remains committed to help protect, promote, and preserve brain health for service members, athletes, and the public.”

The Consortium has also just received a combined $42.65 million in funding to begin the next phase of its landmark research project. The newly-awarded funding includes a $25 million award from the Medical Technology Enterprise Consortium via the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command, from the Defense Health Program under the oversight of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs. An additional $10 million in funding was awarded by the NCAA, and $7.65 million was granted by the Defense Health Agency via a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement. This latest funding will allow the research team additional resources to build upon existing CARE/SALTOS research by following former CARE research participants beyond graduation to evaluate the long-term or late effects (up to 10 years) on brain health after mTBI/concussion and/or HIE.

The CARE/SALTOS Integrated study is an integrated public/private effort, and is designed to identify the unique individual characteristics (such as phenotypes/genotypes) of individuals at a higher versus lower risk of negative outcomes associated with concussion and HIE. This data set will be made available to the broader scientific community to promote further development of specific strategies for injury prevention, early recognition, and mitigating treatments of those at greatest risk of brain health effects.

You also may be interested in...

Concussion Awareness V1

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media infographic on September 17

According to the Defense Health Agency Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE), 439,609 service members have been diagnosed with a first-time TBI since 2000. The most common form of TBI in the military is mild, and is also known as a concussion.

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Traumatic Brain Injury

Did You Know? Concussions - Mild TBI

Infographic
8/3/2021
Social media infographic for concussions

Concussions are the most common form or Traumatic Brain Injury in the Military. Be TBI ready!

Recommended Content:

September Toolkit | Traumatic Brain Injury

Brain Injury Awareness Month "Be TBI Ready" Infographic

Infographic
2/24/2021
March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. Be TBI Ready. A traumatic brain injury—or TBI—is a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain. The severity of the TBI is determined at the time of the injury and may be classified as: mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating.

During Brain Injury Awareness Month, TBICoE and the MHS will promote the theme “Be TBI Ready” — recognizing that health care providers and others in the military community need to be aware of the latest educational trainings, research, fact sheets, and other available resources to prevent, diagnose, and treat TBI.

Recommended Content:

Brain Injury Awareness Month | Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | TBI Educators | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

Returning to Duty After Concussion

Infographic
2/24/2021
What's the best way to recover from a concussion? Returning to duty too soon after a concussion can lead to prolonged symptoms, decreased readiness, poor marksmanship, accidents and falls, and increased risk of more concussions. Progressively increasing activity in a step-wise manner can help you resolve your symptoms and return to duty safely. Ask your primary health care provider about TBICoE's Progressive Return to Activity to help you return to duty as quickly and safely as possible. Visit health.mil/TBICoE.

This TBICoE infographic gives an overview of the risks of returning to duty too soon after a concussion and explains how a progressive increase in activity can help get you back to duty safely. Returning to duty too soon after concussion can lead to prolonged symptoms, poor marksmanship, decreased readiness, accidents and falls, and increased risk of more concussions.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Brain Injury Awareness Month | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators | Provider Resources | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

Sleep After Concussion

Infographic
2/18/2021
Sleep After Concussion. Service members with TBI report 3 times more sleep problems. TBIs can happen anywhere, only 16.9 percent of TBIs happen while deployed. Visit health.mil/TBIFactSheets to learn more about sleep problems and how to improve them

"Sleep After Concussion" is intended for patients and caregivers of those who have sustained a TBI. The infographic reviews general information of sleep-related concerns and points towards additional educational resources.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Patient and Family Resources | TBI Educators | Traumatic Brain Injury | Sleep | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit

Sleep After mTBI

Infographic
11/19/2020
Sleep After mTBI

"Sleep After mTBI" is intended for providers to show the importance of screening and treating service members affected by sleep issues following mTBI.

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence | Provider Resources | Brain Injury Awareness Toolkit | Sleep

Diagnoses of Traumatic Brain Injury Not Clearly Associated with Deployment, Active Component, U.S. Armed Forces, 2001 – 2016

Infographic
4/4/2017
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is structural alteration of the brain or physiological disruption of brain function caused by an external force.  TBI, particularly mild TBI or concussion, is the most common traumatic injury in the U.S. military. This analysis provides the estimated rates of incident TBIs among service members before their first-ever deployment as well as separately among service members during deployments/ after deployments. It also mentions factors that may explain why the TBI incidence rates among the previously deployed were higher than those of the never-deployed group. Moreover, it describes the demographic and military traits of service members diagnosed as TBI cases (before/after deployment). Categorization of person time during surveillance period included four categories: Group 1 (Never deployed/TBI before first-ever deployment), Group 2 (Currently deployed or within 30 days of return), Group 3 (previously deployed but not currently deployed nor within 30 days of return) and Censored after Diagnosis of TBI. From 2001-2016, 276,858 active component service members received first-time diagnoses of TBI. The crude overall incidence rate of TBI among deployed service members was 1.5 times that of service members assigned to Group 1 and 1.2 times that of service members in Group 3 during the surveillance period.  Total TBI cases by group were Group 1 42.8%, Group 2 13.2% and Group 3 44.0%. Incidence rates by group (per 100,000 person-years) were Group 1 1,141.3, Group 2 1,690.5, and Group 3 1,451.2. Learn more at www.Health.mil/MSMR and see fact sheets at www.Health.mil/AFHSB

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is structural alteration of the brain or physiological disruption of brain function caused by an external force. TBI, particularly mild TBI or concussion, is the most common traumatic injury in the U.S. military. This analysis provides the estimated rates of incident TBIs among service members before their first-ever deployment as well as separately among service members during deployments/ after deployments. It also mentions factors that may explain why the TBI incidence rates among the previously deployed were higher than those of the never-deployed group. Moreover, it describes the demographic and military traits of service members diagnosed as TBI cases (before/after deployment).

Recommended Content:

Traumatic Brain Injury
Showing results 1 - 7 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.