Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium
Concussion, also known as a mild traumatic brain injury or mTBI, is a fundamental concern facing military personnel, the sports medicine community, and society at large. Sport-related concussion (SRC) is recognized as a major public health issue worldwide, with increasing focus and concern among clinicians, researchers, athletic organizations and athletes themselves. The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) have led the way in advancing the science of sport-related concussion for more than 20 years, supporting discoveries that have had a major influence on domestic and international guidelines for best practice in the evaluation, management and prevention of concussion.
In keeping with the identified priorities of the NCAA and DoD, which emphasize a collaborative team approach and broad representation of NCAA member institutions, the Concussion Assessment, Research and Education (CARE) Consortium was established to serve as the scientific and operational framework for the NCAA-DoD public-private partnership known as the Grand Alliance.
Led by IU School of Medicine in collaboration with the University of Michigan and the Medical College of Wisconsin, the CARE Consortium involves student athletes and cadets from 30 universities and military service academies from across the U.S. to facilitate a deeper understanding of concussion injuries and the development of education programs designed to change the culture of concussion reporting and management. This three-year, $30 million study marks the most comprehensive investigation of sport-related concussion research conducted to date.
What is the CARE Consortium?
The CARE Consortium is a $30 million initiative between the NCAA, U.S. Department of Defense and participating institutions to study and prevent sports-related concussions and enhance the safety of student-athletes, service members, youth sports participants and the broader public.
The NCAA and Department of Defense have created a new initiative, led by Indiana University School of Medicine in collaboration with the University of Michigan and the Medical College of Wisconsin, to support leading edge research into concussions and their effects on the brain.
CARE Consortium Leadership
Thomas W. McAllister, MD
Chair, Department of Psychiatry, IU School of Medicine
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
"The work and research of the CARE Consortium will make a lasting impact on sports medicine and on how we approach, diagnose, treat and prevent concussions. By leveraging multiple sites, sports and athletes on a nationwide scale, we can collect convincing data to change the way the public views and understands brain injury."
-Thomas McAllister, MD
Under the leadership of the CARE Consortium Coordinating Centers, the consortium is designed around the following core functions:
Administrative and Operations Core
The Administrative and Operations Core (AOC) serves as the centralized coordination center for the Longitudinal Clinical Study and Advanced Research Cores, and Consortium members. The AOC provides regulatory and fiduciary oversight for the CARE Coordinating Centers as well as data and analysis management, bioinformatics, biospecimen and clinical trial support resources. This group is led by Thomas McAlliser, MD; Barry Katz, PhD; Andrew Saykin, PsyD; Tatiana Foroud, PhD; Yu-Chien Wu, PhD; and Yunlong Liu, PhD.
Longitudinal Clinical Study Core
The Longitudinal Clinical Study Core (CSC) expands upon the existing NCAA National Sport Concussion Outcomes Study, a multi-site, longitudinal investigation of concussive and repetitive head impacts in NCAA student athletes to develop and implement a multi-year, multi-institution perspective, clinical longitudinal phase-in research protocol aimed at the study of the natural history of concussion. The CSC serves as the foundation for the development of additional research projects. This group is led by Steven Broglio, PhD, ATC at University of Michigan. The IU-Bloomington Performance Site Investigator is Nicholas Port, PhD.
Advanced Research Core
The Advanced Research Core (ARC) elevates existing collaborative research networks to conduct advanced research projects including, but not limited to, impact sensor technologies, advanced neuroimaging, biological markers, and comprehensive clinical studies to inform the neurobiopsychosocial understanding of sports-related concussions. The ARC builds upon the CSC, allowing for the advanced research projects with the same foundational baseline and post-concussive clinical data. This group is led by Michael McCrea, PhD, ABPP at the Medical College of Wisconsin.
The CARE Consortium serves as the scientific and operational framework for the Concussion Research Initiative of the Grand Alliance. CARE is committed to conducting research with the utmost rigor and with strong attention to and adherence with regulatory and ethical obligations.
To date, the CARE Consortium has enrolled approximately 40,000 male and female NCAA student-athletes and military service academy cadets from 30 institutions across the United States in its studies. In addition, from these studies, data has been collected on more than 3000 concussion injuries.