Researching head injuries in football players
September 18, 2019
MONTREAL – The research project titled Tête première (head first), led by the team of neurologist Louis De Beaumont (pictured), who is also a researcher at the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal research centre and a professor in the Department of Surgery at Université de Montréal, will assess the brain’s capacities to sustain blows to the head during a full university football season.
It has therefore enlisted 38 football players from the Carabins of Université de Montréal, the Stingers of Concordia University and the McGill University football team to participate in the study as soon as the season begins.
The participants will wear telemetry sensors implanted in their helmets during two consecutive football matches to document the number of blows to the head. Each player will also undergo a total of seven medical imaging examinations slated for before, during and after the football season.
The research team will thus be able to study in detail the potential association between the sum of the forces impacting the players’ heads and the physiological integrity of their brains.
The only one of its kind in Canada, this research project will document the changes brought about in the brain during an entire football season and will assess the brain’s recovery outside the regular playing season.
“The findings of this study will potentially have significant societal benefits and broad scientific scope that will help reduce the health risks to the brains of football players. The new knowledge acquired could lead to the development of new sports equipment that is better adjusted to the brain’s vulnerabilities,” explained researcher Dr De Beaumont. “I would like to thank the football players and teams of the three universities for their involvement and open-mindedness, for without them, the research project could not take place.”
This research project is made possible thanks to funding from both the Audace Program of the Fonds de recherche du Québec (FRQ) and the Fondation Caroline Durand en traumatologie aigüe Research Chair of Université de Montréal.
The CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal
With 26 health and social service establishments located in five boroughs in Montreal North, the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-Montréal is responsible for organizing and developing health and social services for the 436,000 Montrealers living in the territory it serves. It also offers specialized services, mostly in traumatology, respiratory health, cardiovascular health, and mental health, to 1.8 million Quebecers from other regions. Affiliated with Université de Montréal, the CIUSSS du Nord-de-l’Île-de-Montréal focuses on three main research areas: biomedical research, social research, and child and youth mental health research.
About Université de Montréal
Université de Montréal and its two affiliated schools, École Polytechnique (engineering) and HEC Montréal (business), are amongst the world’s top universities, according to international rankings. Founded in 1878, the campus today has over 67,000 students and 2,700 professors, making Université de Montréal the second largest university in Canada. Its students are drawn to the university by its deep roots in cosmopolitan Montreal and in consideration of its tenacious dedication to its international mission.