Pioneering research on rugby headgear lowering mind accidents to begin in 2023


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A pioneering analysis research on the effectiveness of headgear in lowering mind damage in rugby was launched as we speak by the research’s Principal Investigator, Guide Neurosurgeon, Dr. Philip J. O’Halloran BSc FRCS (SN) PhD.

The Rugby Headgear Effectiveness Examine is supported by the Irish Rugby Soccer Union (IRFU) and might be carried out over the subsequent two years underneath World Rugby’s “Regulation 4 Headgear Trial” framework.

World Rugby developed the “Regulation 4 Headgear Trial” framework to allow producers to subject check new designs of rugby headgear which can be of help in lowering or serving to to forestall mind accidents. N-Professional is the primary product to obtain approval underneath this framework.

The research seeks to guage the effectiveness of the N-Professional Headguard in lowering mind damage biomarkers. The research is co-funded by the European Innovation Council and Contego Sports activities, the Irish firm that designed N-Professional. Examine recruitment will begin within the first half of 2023.

Dr O’Halloran is a Guide Neurosurgeon on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham and Honorary Senior Medical Lecturer on the RCSI College of Medication and Well being Sciences.

Commenting on the launch of the research, Dr Philip O’Halloran, mentioned: “I’m delighted to launch the Rugby Headgear Effectiveness Examine as we speak. We all know that scrumcaps don’t forestall gamers sustaining mind accidents however the World Rugby Regulation 4 Headgear Trial framework permits for innovation and new applied sciences which have proven encouraging preclinical outcomes to be validated in the true world. 

My function is to independently assess the impact of this new headgear design on mind damage utilizing state-of-the-art blood and saliva biomarkers, neuro-imaging, instrumented mouthguards and neurocognitive checks. 

We have now assembled a world-leading, unbiased panel of scientific and medical consultants in mind well being and mind damage to watch the research; it represents an essential piece of the jigsaw of what’s an ongoing worldwide collective effort to guard newbie {and professional} gamers. Our consideration will now flip to recruiting members for the research. I might encourage gamers from golf equipment and colleges to contemplate getting concerned with the research” 

IRFU Medical Director Dr. Rod McLoughlin commented: “At this time’s announcement is one other essential step ahead as we be taught extra concerning the effectiveness of headgear in lowering mind damage biomarkers. This partnership reaffirms the IRFU’s dedication to creating rugby a safer sport for all gamers and I might encourage as many members as doable to participate within the research over the subsequent two years. The IRFU’s strategy, based mostly on scientific proof, includes a dedication to ongoing training, monitoring and utility of security protocols throughout the sport and I wish to acknowledge the efforts of Dr Philip O’Halloran and World Rugby as we work collectively on this vastly essential space of analysis.”

World Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Éanna Falvey added: “We by no means stand nonetheless in relation to participant welfare. Whereas customary padded headgear doesn’t forestall head damage, we’re at all times eager to discover advances in expertise which have the potential to cut back the chance of damage. We’re due to this fact delighted to be supporting a course of that permits the evaluation of headgear gadgets which have been designed to attain particular, quantifiable medical functions. We stay up for seeing the outcomes.”

Rugby Headgear Effectiveness Examine

The Rugby Headgear Effectiveness Examinewill happen in Eire, in female and male rugby gamers aged 16 years and older, over the course of two consecutive taking part in seasons (from August 2023 to Might 2025).

This multi-centre analysis research is led by world analysis consultants in neurotrauma, neuroimaging, neurocognitive testing, blood and saliva biomarker evaluation and damage surveillance.

This analysis group, led by Dr Philip O’Halloran, will independently consider if a novel head-gear design (N-Professional) can affect blood and saliva biomarker ranges, and different recognized indicators of mind damage that may be evaluated from neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) scans, neurocognitive and scientific check outcomes and accelerometer knowledge (instrumented mouthguard), underneath real-world taking part in situations.

  • The Principal Investigator of the research is Dr Philip J. O’Halloran:
    1. Guide Neurosurgeon on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham (U.Ok), Dan Rooney Concussion Fellow & Analysis Lead College of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) Sports activities Concussion Community Eire and Honorary Senior Medical Lecturer on the RCSI College of Medication and Well being Sciences.
    2. Dr O’Halloran is Guide Neurosurgeon with a sub-specialty curiosity in Neurotrauma. He’s an internationally acknowledged Key Opinion Chief in his subject and was the recipient of the distinguished Rooney Concussion Fellowship in 2021, throughout which he frolicked on the College of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) Sports activities Medication Concussion Program, Pennsylvania, USA. In 2020, he additionally turned the primary Royal Faculty of Surgeons in England accredited Neurotrauma Fellow on the Royal London Main Trauma Heart.
    3. Dr. O’Halloran is an unbiased match day physician for the English Rugby Premiership and the European Rugby Champions Cup.
    4. Dr. O’Halloran is an affiliate editor of the British Journal of Neurosurgery.
  • Philip has compiled an skilled worldwide group of co-investigators for the research:
    1. Professor Henrik Zetterberg is a Professor / Chief Doctor on the Institute of Neuroscience and Physiology on the Sahlgrenska Academy, College of Gothenburg, Sweden. Professor Zetterberg might be accountable for blood biomarker evaluation.
    2. Professor Tony Belli is the Professor of Neurotrauma on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Professor Belli might be accountable for saliva biomarker evaluation.
    3. Dr. Curtis Offiah is a Guide Neuroradiologist on the Royal London Hospital and might be accountable for the MRI scan assessment with the Examine Principal Investigator.
  • The research might be overseen by a group from the IRFU:
    1. Dr Rod McLoughlin, Director of Medical Service
    2. Dr Nicol van Dyk, Medical Analysis Lead
    3. Ms. Mairead Liston, Medical Supervisor – Excessive Efficiency Recreation
    4. Dr Caithriona Yeomans, Medical Supervisor – Developmental Recreation
  • Quite a lot of different researchers and teams will even contribute to the research:
    1. Professor Brian Caulfield is a Director on the Perception Centre for Information Analytics, College Faculty Dublin (UCD), Eire. He’ll assessment accelerometer knowledge and conduct all impression knowledge validation evaluation from the instrumented mouthguards used on this research.
    2. Dr Siobhan O’Connor and Dr Enda Whyte from the Faculty of Well being & Human Efficiency at Dublin Metropolis College (DCU) might be accountable for assessing any behavioral adjustments in research members as per World Rugby guidelines, by reviewing questionnaires, video footage and accelerometer knowledge.
    3. Prof Gloria Crispino is the CEO and Director of Statistica Medica Ltd, Dublin, Eire. She might be managing the Statistical Evaluation and Examine Design.
    4. Ms Orla Connaughton is the founding father of Aztec Medical and has over 18 years’ expertise in Regulatory, Design Assurance, High quality Administration and Medical Affairs.

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