NYC Healthcare News

Landmark study may help prevent permanent brain injury in fighters

April 20, 2016

Researchers will measure changes in brain volume, scarring and blood flow via MRI scans. Any changes seen on the participant's MRI will be correlated with their performance on cognitive assessments and neurologic exams. For fighters who demonstrate a correlation between MRI findings and cognitive decline, researchers hope to determine whether there is any relationship to the number of blows, number of rounds fought, knockouts, dehydration or other factors.

"This study will add key insights into head and neck injuries in professional and amateur athletes that doctors, engineers and others can truly benefit from, building upon Cleveland Clinic's current work in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of these conditions," said Michael T. Modic, M.D., Chairman of the Neurological Institute at Cleveland Clinic. "It's important to know the true brain health impact that boxing and other combative sports have on fighters.  We hope to find a way to identify fighters with repetitive injuries to be able to knowledgeably tell fighters when to hang up the gloves and help them heal."

Testing results are confidential. No information will be released to any other person or agency without the participant's written permission. Any abnormal findings will be discussed privately with the study participant.

Participants must be 18 or older and licensed (or seeking licensure) in Nevada for professional boxing, mixed martial arts, and/or kickboxing.

SOURCE Cleveland Clinic