Basketball Part of NCAA Concussion Research Study

Bruce English takes the baseline test.

Oct. 23, 2012

LOS ANGELES - LMU men's and women's basketball have partnered with the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center (BIRC) and pediatric neurologist, Dr. Chris Giza, in a comprehensive concussion research study funded by the NCAA. With the NCAA grant, The National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study (NSCOS) will evaluate more than 1,000 male and female college athletes in an attempt to study the short and long-term effects of head injuries and sports-related concussions.

Most recently, Dr. Giza, who is one of the lead doctors in researching the long-term impact of head injuries, and his biomedical research team from UCLA visited the LMU campus and conducted base-line neurological examination and cognitive testing on LMU student-athletes from both the basketball programs.

"We recognize the value of baseline testing and will use this as a vehicle to further educate our coaches, trainers and student-athletes about concussion awareness and safety," said Assistant Athletics Director of Sports Medicine Keith Ellison. "This study will really be beneficial to better understanding the effects of head injuries."

A big part of this study is knowledge and how to diagnose a concussion. Dr. Giza states that one of the biggest and most common misconceptions is that a student-athlete only be removed from play if he or she hasn't been knocked unconscious.

"Less than 10 percent of sports-related concussions involve loss of consciousness," says Dr. Giza. "You can't tell until you evaluate the athlete - checking neurologic function and balance, memory, as well as testing of cognitive processing and recall."

Dr. Giza comments that the main symptom for most concussions is a headache. Symptoms also can include dizziness and balance problems, nausea or vomiting, feeling "foggy" and slow to respond to questions and sensitivity to bright lights. Porcha Dodson, who has helped LMU men's basketball with their LMU Cares program and Project Knapsack, works with UCLA Neurosurgery and informed the Ellison of this opportunity.



"We are very thankful Porcha helped us get involved with this program," said Ellison. "Dr. Giza is a renowned pediatric neurologist and expert in the field of concussions and traumatic brain injury (TBI). We are grateful that he chose LMU to be a part of his research study."

Other institutions participating in the research study include UCLA, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the University of Michigan, and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

For more information about the UCLA Brain Injury Research Center (BIRC) visit To learn about UCLA's Neuroscience education programs for students, visit



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