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 harm in rugby was launched right this moment by the research’s Principal Investigator, Guide Neurosurgeon, Dr. Philip J. O’Halloran BSc FRCS (SN) PhD.

The Rugby Headgear Effectiveness Research is supported by the Irish Rugby Soccer Union (IRFU) and will probably 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 area take a look at new designs of rugby headgear which can be of help in lowering or serving to to stop 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 harm biomarkers. The research is co-funded by the European Innovation Council and Contego Sports activities, the Irish firm that designed N-Professional. Research 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 Research right this moment. We all know that scrumcaps don’t stop 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 actual world. 

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

We’ve assembled a world-leading, impartial panel of scientific and medical specialists in mind well being and mind harm to watch the research; it represents an vital 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 contributors 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: “Immediately’s announcement is one other vital step ahead as we be taught extra concerning the effectiveness of headgear in lowering mind harm biomarkers. This partnership reaffirms the IRFU’s dedication to creating rugby a safer sport for all gamers and I might encourage as many contributors as potential to participate within the research over the subsequent two years. The IRFU’s method, 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 vital space of analysis.”

World Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, Dr Éanna Falvey added: “We by no means stand nonetheless in the case of participant welfare. Whereas customary padded headgear doesn’t stop head harm, we’re at all times eager to discover advances in expertise which have the potential to scale back the danger of harm. We’re due to this fact delighted to be supporting a course of that allows 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 Research

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

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

This analysis crew, led by Dr Philip O’Halloran, will independently consider if a novel head-gear design (N-Professional) can impact blood and saliva biomarker ranges, and different identified indicators of mind harm that may be evaluated from neuroimaging (magnetic resonance imaging, MRI) scans, neurocognitive and scientific take a look at outcomes and accelerometer information (instrumented mouthguard), underneath real-world enjoying circumstances.

  • 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 area and was the recipient of the distinguished Rooney Concussion Fellowship in 2021, throughout which he hung out on the College of Pittsburgh Medical Centre (UPMC) Sports activities Medication Concussion Program, Pennsylvania, USA. In 2020, he additionally turned the primary Royal School of Surgeons in England accredited Neurotrauma Fellow on the Royal London Main Trauma Heart.
    3. Dr. O’Halloran is an impartial 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 crew 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 will probably be chargeable for blood biomarker evaluation.
    2. Professor Tony Belli is the Professor of Neurotrauma on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, United Kingdom. Professor Belli will probably be chargeable for saliva biomarker evaluation.
    3. Dr. Curtis Offiah is a Guide Neuroradiologist on the Royal London Hospital and will probably be chargeable for the MRI scan assessment with the Research Principal Investigator.
  • The research will probably be overseen by a crew 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 Sport
    4. Dr Caithriona Yeomans, Medical Supervisor – Developmental Sport
  • A lot of different researchers and teams may also contribute to the research:
    1. Professor Brian Caulfield is a Director on the Perception Centre for Information Analytics, College School Dublin (UCD), Eire. He’ll assessment accelerometer information and conduct all influence information validation evaluation from the instrumented mouthguards used on this research.
    2. Dr Siobhan O’Connor and Dr Enda Whyte from the College of Well being & Human Efficiency at Dublin Metropolis College (DCU) will probably be chargeable for assessing any behavioral adjustments in research contributors as per World Rugby guidelines, by reviewing questionnaires, video footage and accelerometer information.
    3. Prof Gloria Crispino is the CEO and Director of Statistica Medica Ltd, Dublin, Eire. She will probably be managing the Statistical Evaluation and Research 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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