The NCAA and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have embarked on a landmark $30 million initiative to study and prevent concussion, known as the NCAA-DoD Grand Alliance. In keeping with the identified priorities of the NCAA and DoD which emphasize a collaborative team approach and broad representation of NCAA member institutions, to address the fundamental questions in the field of concussion, the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium serves as the scientific and operational framework for the Concussion Research Initiative of the Grand Alliance.
The proposed three-year study marks what is considered to be the most comprehensive investigation of sport-related concussion conducted to date. This study will facilitate a better understanding the natural history and neurobiology of concussion in athletes.
Under the leadership of the CARE Consortium Coordinating Centers, the Consortium is designed around the following core functions:
Administrative and Operations Core (AOC): The AOC will serve as the centralized coordination center for the Longitudinal Clinical Study and Advanced Research Cores (CSC and ARC- see below), and Consortium members. The AOC will provide fiduciary oversight for the CARE Coordinating Centers and provide Data and Analysis management, Bioinformatics, Biospecimen, and Clinical Trial Support ORB/Regulatory coordination) resources.
Longitudinal Clinical Study Core (CSC): The CSC will expand upon the existing NCAA National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study, a multi-site, longitudinal investigation of concussive and repetitive head impacts in NCAA student-athletes to develop and implement a multi-year, multiinstitution prospective, clinical longitudinal phase-in research protocol whose aim will be to study the natural history of concussion. The CSC will serve as the foundation upon which additional advanced research projects will be built.
Advanced Research Core (ARC): The ARC will leverage existing collaborative research networks (e.g., NIH TRACK-TBI, DoD Project Head to Head, NFL-GE Head Health Challenge) to conduct advanced research projects that include, but are not limited to, impact sensor technologies, advanced neuroimaging, biological markers and comprehensive clinical studies to inform the neurobiopsychosocial understanding of SRC. The ARC builds upon the CSC, thereby allowing for advanced research projects with the same foundational baseline and post-concussive clinical data.