Big Ten school Ohio State University is looking to do a long-term concussion study that would track Buckeye football players long after they left the college, according to The Blade of Toledo, Ohio.
The hospital at the university, Wexner Medical Center, has the talent to undertake such work. Last fall it hired Dr. Russell Lonser, a leading neurologist, as chairman of its Department of Neurological Surgery. Lonser is the physician who supervised the examination of tissue from the brain of ex-NFL player Junior Seau, who killed himself last year.
Tests determined that Seau had chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a degenerative brain disease that’s been linked to repeated blows to the head.
Lonser is also a member of the NFL’s head, neck and spine committee, according to The Blade.
He told the newspaper that pro football can in fact be made safe for players, with changes in the game’s rules and the spotlight now focused on the prevention of concussions and head injuries. His neurological department has formed a concussion group, and it is looking to collect data on Ohio State players, The Blade reported.
Although the plans are in the very early stages, the idea is to trace OSU players, volunteers, for years, if not decades. Ohio State plans to work with other schools so that everyone uses the same benchmarks and gathers the same type of data.
The Big Ten school already has a concussion protocol in place, which bars players who show signs of having a concussion from returning to the field to play.