Studying concussion in rugby: The Drake Rugby Biomarker Study
Principal Investigators: Professor John Hardy, Professor Huw Morris, Professor Henrik Zetterberg
Co-Investigators: Dr Etienne Laverse, Professor David Sharp
Institutions: UCL Institute of Neurology, Imperial College London
Having commenced at Saracens Rugby Club in 2015, this longitudinal study now involves players from a number of Premiership and Championship rugby union and rugby league teams. The study involves collection of blood, saliva and urine in an effort to uncover potential biomarkers of concussion injuries, as well as using advanced neuroimaging techniques and cognitive testing to investigate any changes associated with participation in elite rugby.
- Zimmerman KA, Laverse E, Samra R et al. White matter abnormalities in active elite adult rugby players. Brain Communications. doi:10.1093/braincomms/fcab133 (2021).
- Laverse E, Guo T, Zimmerman K et al. Plasma glial fibrillary acidic protein and neurofilament light chain, but not tau, are biomarkers of sports-related mild traumatic brain injury, Brain Communications. doi:10.1093/braincomms/fcaa137 (2020).
News and links:
- Professional rugby may be associated with changes in brain structure (Press release issued by Imperial College London, July 2021)
- The Drake Foundation urges immediate changes in rugby to further prioritise player welfare (Press release issued by The Drake Foundation, July 2021)
- At the forefront of on-field Concussion research.
- Video interview – Professor Huw Morris and The Drake Foundation Fellow Etienne Laverse discuss Saracens Rugby Club biomarker study.
- Update on fluid biomarkers in concussion, published by Concussion.
- Rugby Concussions: What is the BRAIN Study?
BBC Morning Live feature on the neuroimaging findings from the Drake Rugby Biomarker Study (published July 2021)
BBC Breakfast feature on the neuroimaging findings from the Drake Rugby Biomarker Study (published July 2021)