Saranac Lake, NY – July 25, 2017
Can-Am Rugby Tournament and Rutgers Medical School partner for continuing study on concussions.
When the 44th annual Can-Am Rugby Tournament kicks off Friday, it will also mark the fifth consecutive year that event organizers have partnered with the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
The joint mission is to raise the level of knowledge on the complications arising from concussions.
Dr. Jorge Serrador and his team from the Integrative Human Physiology Labratory at Rutgers have begun to understand the immediate effects of a concussive hit.
“We have been attending the Can-Am Tournament and are working towards a better understanding of the physiological effects of concussion,” said Dr. Serrador. He added that concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury worldwide.
“We still do not fully understand what happens to the body immediately following the concussive injury, or how the body recovers from the concussion. This lack of understanding has made it extremely difficult for the medical community to develop accurate diagnostic tools.”
Over 80 tournament players have participated in this long-term study each summer. Now Dr. Serrador’s diagnostic team is increasingly able to connect the reduced brain blood flow that results from a concussive hit with the symptoms of concussion.
“Thanks to these rugby players at Can-Am, we are starting to get our first insight into what happens to brain blood flow during a concussion. We are going to use this information to work towards a new, on-field diagnostic measure of concussion severity. This could help us better determine which players have suffered a serious concussion, as well as allow us to develop new treatments.”
The Rutgers team will once again be in attendance this weekend with research tents. They are encouraging fans and tournament supporters to stop by and discuss the topic with these experts.
Anyone who has suffered a head hit, whether in or out of tournament action is welcomed to join in this significant exchange of information.
“Ultimately, we seek better diagnostics and treatments to help with player safety and recovery,” concluded Dr. Serrador.
The Can-Am Rugby Tournament will be contested Friday through Sunday with 120 sides on 16 pitches in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Championship matches are set for North Country Community College on the final day and will be streamed live via The Rugby Channel.