UBC goes to the head of the class in concussion testing

B.C. Hockey league adopts technology created by UBC grads and 30 Under 30 winner

Credit: Kasey Eriksen/Flickr

Victoria Grizzlies play the Cowichan Capitals

B.C. Hockey league adopts technology created by UBC grads and 30 Under 30 winner

HeadCheck Health Inc., a Vancouver company started by UBC School of Kinesiology student and BCBusiness 30 Under 30 winner Harrison Brown along with UBC MBA graduate Kerry Costello, is helping the B.C. Hockey League diagnose concussions. During the season, all 17 BCHL teams will use HeadCheck’s sideline concussion testing and management software, and the company will provide training, advanced analytics and reporting to help the league improve its concussion management policies and procedures.

Researchers at UBC’s Okanagan campus have come up with another way to help test athletes for recent brain trauma. “Because concussions can’t be seen on standard brain imaging, the holy grail in the concussion world has been to devise a test that can objectively say whether or not a patient has suffered a mild brain injury,” says study lead author and UBC Okanagan medical student and PhD candidate Alexander (Sandy) Wright. Using ultrasound equipment, the School of Health and Exercise Sciences researchers measured the blood flow response to increased brain activity in 179 junior-level athletes before the athletic season. Athletes who sustained concussions during the season were retested. Researchers found a clear link between the brain injury and changes to the brain’s blood flow response related to how long the athletes were sidelined from competition.