Skip to main content

Université Laval takes part in major pan-Canadian research project on concussions in youth sports

Québec City, November 15, 2018— Université Laval professors will take part in a large-scale Canada-wide research project aimed at reducing concussions and their consequences among young athletes. The project, overseen by Professor Carolyn Emery at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Kinesiology, received$12 million in financial support from the National Football League (NFL) Scientific Advisory Board.

The SHRed Concussions program (short for Surveillance in High Schools to Reduce Concussions and Consequences of Concussions in Youth) will bring together 35 researchers from nine Canadian universities as well as some thirty community, government, and industry partners. The study will focus on a variety of sports at the high-school level including hockey, rugby, football, lacrosse, wrestling, soccer, basketball, volleyball and cheerleading.

The main objective will be to design, implement, and evaluate innovative approaches to the prevention and management of concussions. Researchers will develop new methods for monitoring head injuries and design various tools to better detect concussions and assess recovery after head trauma. Researchers may also make recommendations regarding changes in rules, equipment and training strategies.

Dr. Pierre Frémont, a professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Medicine and an expert in the prevention and treatment of concussions, will act as national coordinator for the clinical aspects of the project. "This research program will demonstrate how the collaboration between school, sport and health communities in applying simple principles of prevention, early detection and structured management can help us safely manage concussions in youth sports", said Dr. Frémont.

"We intend to put in place an effective, evidence-based surveillance system", added Claude Goulet, professor at Université Laval's Faculty of Education and a sports injury prevention specialist who participates in the study as coordinator for the province of Québec. This will allow us to better assess the extent of the phenomenon of concussions among young athletes. It will also contribute to the implementation and evaluation of prevention strategies adapted to the context of practice and, ultimately, to improving the benefits of sport for young athletes."

About the NFL Scientific Advisory Board
Through the NFL's Play Smart. Play Safe. initiative,$40 million in funding was allotted for medical research, primarily dedicated to neuroscience. The NFL assembled a Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) comprising leading independent experts, doctors, scientists and clinicians to develop and lead a clear process to identify and support compelling proposals for scientific research. The SAB is chaired by Peter Chiarelli, U.S. Army General (Retired), former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army, and former CEO of One Mind, a brain research-related non-profit organization.

Jean-François Huppé
Media relations
Université Laval