Tag Archives: Dan Arment

prevention trial - brain scan images

TGen, Riddell, ASU football study brain injuries

Riddell, the leader in football helmet technology and innovation, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a leader in cutting-edge genomic research, has began the third year of a study to advance concussion detection and treatment with the Pac-12’s Arizona State University and its Sun Devil football program.

Researchers are working to identify biomarkers released from the brain that provide definitive evidence of concussion. The innovative study uses blood, saliva and urine samples collected from Sun Devil football student-athletes who volunteered to participate in this research combined with player head impact data collected through Riddell’s Sideline Response System (SRS). Each year of this research collaboration brings a new understanding of molecular changes resulting from head impact exposure with the desired objective being to find a definitive, objective method to diagnose concussions and mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI).

“Riddell’s continued participation in this potentially game-changing research, with leading institutions like ASU, TGen and their partners, is another example of our commitment to ‘Smarter Football,’” said Dan Arment, President of Riddell. “Together we are advancing player protection and furthering important research that has the potential to forever change athlete concussion diagnosis and treatment in football and beyond.”

In addition to baseline samples collected during pre-season workouts, TGen faculty and staff collect samples and data during all practices and home games.

“All of sport needs a definitive test that will objectively define when an athlete is injured, and we are excited about the prospect of developing such a test through this study,” said Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, TGen Associate Professor and co-leader of the study. “Equally exciting is the prospect of serving the larger medical community dealing with multiple forms of head injury.”

Select Sun Devils players’ football helmets are equipped with sensors from the Riddell SRS to obtain real-time head impact data on the frequency and severity of head impacts experienced during games and practices. Impacts are analyzed alongside genetic information from players that experience a concussion with the objective of helping physicians diagnose concussion and better identify when a player might be expected to recover and return to the field.

“Our primary mission as an athletics department is to serve our student-athletes and our community, and continuing this study for a third year accomplishes both of these goals,” said Ray Anderson, Vice President of University Athletics and Athletics Director. “We pride ourselves on being innovative and on our willingness to help further a game we all value, and, along with industry leaders Riddell and TGen, we are looking forward to spending another season helping shape the future of football.”

The study also provides key insights to Riddell to help improve its monitoring and alerting technologies like Riddell SRS, used primarily at the elite level of football, and its InSite Impact Response System, used by thousands of players across youth, high school and college football. Data from the project would help refine the types of impacts that the system should alert the sideline to using the knowledge of biomarkers and impact profiles. Riddell’s football helmet designs could also evolve with continued understanding of the correlation between impact locations and particular biomarkers.

Conquering Concussions

ASU, TGen Team Up for Concussion Research

Riddell, the leader in football helmet technology and innovation, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a leader in cutting-edge genomic research, today announced that the Pac-12’s Arizona State University and its Sun Devil football program will again participate in a genetic research study designed to advance athlete concussion detection and treatment.

Now in its second year, the joint research project will combine molecular information and head impact data from Sun Devil football student-athletes to identify whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable. The researchers will monitor the players’ changing molecular information throughout a season of typical head impact exposure associated with football practice and games. Representatives from the Sun Devil medical team and TGen will collect the molecular samples from the participating athletes, all of whom volunteered to partake in the study.

“This partnership represents another dynamic and innovative step toward ensuring that the health and well-being of our student-athletes remains our most important goal,” Vice President for Arizona State University Athletics Ray Anderson said. “Sun Devil Athletics continues to serve as a pioneering force in this important issue and is proud to participate in this world-class research study for the second consecutive year with two outstanding industry trendsetters in Riddell and TGen.”

Arizona State’s preferred helmet and protective equipment provider, Riddell, has again deployed its Sideline Response System (SRS) to obtain real-time head impact data from Arizona State football student-athletes. Riddell SRS provides researchers with a wide range of valuable information on the frequency and severity of head impacts a player receives during games and practices. Data gathered from the system will be combined with genetic information from players that experience concussion, with the objective of helping physicians diagnose concussion and better identify when a player might be expected to recover and return to the field.

“Player protection has become an essential part of football, and this cutting-edge partnership sets ASU apart from not only the rest of the conference, but every collegiate football program in the nation,” ASU Head Coach Todd Graham said. “We are not only looking out for our student-athletes while they are enrolled at ASU, but for the rest of their lives. You become a part of the brotherhood once you put on the maroon and gold, and that doesn’t end at graduation.”

Riddell will also utilize the player head impact data collected from the ASU and TGen research partnership to inform the development of new football helmets and further refine updates to smart helmet technologies like Riddell SRS and its recently launched Riddell InSite Impact Response System.

“We’re impressed by the enthusiasm exhibited by our partners, Arizona State University and TGen, as we enter the second season of our important research collaboration,” President of Riddell Dan Arment said. “They have matched our level of passion for football, and we are all committed to better protecting those that play the sport we love. We are left encouraged following the first year of our project and look forward to continuing on the path towards advancing concussion detection and treatment of athletes.”

The researchers at TGen are exploring whether the effects of sub-concussive hits are identifiable through blood-based molecular information. Their findings could prove pivotal to the game of football and other sports. Similar to last season, during this phase of the study the TGen faculty and staff are on the sidelines collecting samples and data. A baseline sample was collected from all participating players prior to their pre-season workouts. Since then, the researchers have followed the team through their daily workouts and will continue throughout the season.

Through the collection of samples over various points in time and the data generated by Riddell SRS, the goal is to identify the genomic changes in athletes exposed to routine head impacts during practice and games, athletes with diagnosed concussions that recover on both a routine time scale, and athletes with persistent symptoms following concussion that require additional treatment.

“As the mother of a young son who has played football, I’m keenly aware of the need to improve the current standards in place today for dealing with this issue,” said TGen Associate Professor Dr. Kendall Van Keuren-Jensen, whose technique for studying the collected samples drives this unique partnership. “As a researcher whose daily work looks for ways to determine the early warning signs of head injury, I get to see first hand how committed Arizona State University and Riddell are to student-athlete safety, and their determination to improve the game at all levels.”

Following the season long campaign, the researchers will gather post-season data and begin the analysis process with their colleagues at Barrow Neurological Institute and A.T. Still University. During this process, TGen will work closely with Barrow, whose B.R.A.I.N.S. (Barrow Resource for Acquired Injury to the Nervous System) program treats patients who have sustained a traumatic brain or spinal cord injury. The Barrow data will provide the researchers with additional concussion data and allow for comparison between data sets.