Mild traumatic brain injury high among non-professional rugby players

A study of non-professional rugby players in Australia has revealed the true effects of mild traumatic brain injury (concussion). These results were recently published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine, and reinforces that mild traumatic brain injury is an emerging public health issue in high-contact sports like rugby.

"Our research showed that non-professional rugby players have a high incidence of concussion. This is concerning for parents, schools and communities involved in various rugby codes. We also showed that players who had sustained a recent concussion prior to the rugby season, were almost two times more likely to sustain a subsequent concussion during the rugby season", according to Professor Mark Stevenson, The George Institute.

Mild traumatic brain injury is particularly concerning as many young people across the country are engaged in the sport at a range of ages and there is little evidence on the long-term effects of mild traumatic brain injury (or concussion). "It’s vital that we conduct research in this field, so that we build the evidence and more effectively understand the issues" said Professor Mark Stevenson - the lead investigator of the research study.

Contributors to this study include The George Institute for International Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia, the School of Risk and Safety Sciences, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, the Department of Psychology, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine, The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This study would not have been possible without the willing cooperation and support of New South Wales community rugby clubs and schools and their players.

A link to this research can be found on PubMed.