Texas is launching a massive new study on concussions and other sports injuries. It will be the largest effort in the nation to track these accidents and study them over time.
The program is a collaboration between The University Interscholastic League, which manages high school sports in the state, and the O’Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center. It will track Texas’ 800,000 public high school athletes, with the intent of determining whether schools need to change safety requirements for kids.
Are Big Changes Coming in the Way Schools Handle Sports Injuries?
Parents, coaches and community leaders have been concerned, since scientific research has now proven a relationship between serious medical issues and head impacts in youth sports. For years, the government has been trying to adjust to these findings. Multiple states have taken prevention measures, and the federal Centers of Disease Control and Prevention has proposed a national database for sports injuries.
If leaders and scientists had access to a larger pool of information, it’s possible they could develop safer equipment and regulations. New information could even provide potential insights on how to prevent head injuries from progressing into more serious problems
A similar study in Michigan has already provided useful insights. That data is now at Michigan State University’s Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, where they will use it for further studies.
Despite progress, there is a lot that we still don’t know about concussions and how they can cause brain damage later in life. Further studies will hopefully bring the understanding we need to build a safer environment for these young athletes.