BUFFALO, N.Y. – The University at Buffalo researchers who have changed the way concussions are treated have been awarded $4.8 million from the U.S. Department of Defense to conduct a clinical trial to evaluate whether incorporating elements from the Buffalo Concussion Protocol to the DOD’s current concussion protocol would improve outcomes for active members of the military who sustain a concussion.
John Leddy, MD, clinical professor of orthopaedics and director of the UB Concussion Management Clinic, and Barry Willer, PhD, professor of psychiatry and research director of the clinic, both of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB, are principal investigators on the grant, “Exercise Reset for Concussion—Modifying the Buffalo Concussion Protocol for Application in a Military Environment.” The four-year grant is being awarded from the Traumatic Brain Injury and Psychological Health Research Program as part of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs.
Leddy and Willer have pioneered individualized, low-level exercise to help concussed athletes recover. Clinical trials they conducted have proven that daily sub-symptom threshold aerobic exercise — meaning exercise that doesn’t exacerbate symptoms — significantly reduces the risk of prolonged recovery after a concussion.
“This grant will allow us to take our protocol, which we personalize for each individual, and apply it to the military environment. We expect to show that exercise soon after a concussion safely improves recovery and speeds return to duty in military service members” said Leddy.