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NIH Funds Kennedy Krieger Study On The Impact Of Concussions On Kids

BALTIMORE (WJZ)—The NFL and the National Institutes of Health are coming together to learn more about brain injuries. The NIH is funding eight projects studying the long-term effects of concussions.

Jessica Kartalija reports one of the grant recipients is right here in Baltimore.

They are internationally known for helping young people with brain injuries. Now, the Kennedy Krieger Institute is receiving funding for a study on how concussions affect kids and teens.

“One of the really important questions we face as clinicians is when is it safe to send a child back to activity when they are at higher risk of getting another concussion,” said Dr. Stacy Suskauer.

Suskauer is director of the brain injury rehabilitation program at Kennedy Krieger Institute.

“Children may look like they are performing normally, but they may actually be using additional brain resources to do that,” Suskauer said. “The child may look like they have recovered from concussion, but really the brain is working extra hard to do that.”

A critical metric simulator is helping doctors better understand how brain cells interact.

“What the stimulator does is deliver light vibrations to the fingers, and we’re asking children to respond based on what they sense,” Suskauer said.

They are looking to test teens within a week of having a concussion, and then they want to evaluate them again at a later date to re-study them.

Last year, the NFL donated $30 million to fund research studies on injuries affecting athletes–brain trauma being the primary focus.

Research at Kennedy Krieger Institute will help doctors understand the long-term effects of concussions.

The simulator is portable, so unlike a MRI it can be used at schools and on sidelines.

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