UNL researchers work make sports safer - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

UNL researchers work make sports safer

Posted by: Marlenia Thornton

mthornton@klkntv.com

Fall is football season, which brings a greater concern--head injury.

Researchers say high–contact sports like football are the top cause of traumatic brain injuries.

A new research center at UNL is working to change how we understand them.

The center for brain, biology and behavior open its doors in 2013.

Its director says one of the most difficult things about concussions is actually identifying one.

"We have no gold standard for identifying what a concussion is. Concussion is diagnosed by subjective report of symptoms,” UNL Center Brain, Biology and Behavior Arthur Maerlender said.

The 30,000 square foot facility is  located on the east side of memorial stadium.

It has 12 state of the art labs.

Researchers say the number of concussions has actually gone down thanks to more awareness.

They say there have been a lot of changes over the past 10 years.

Rules and mentality have help cut them down, but a big problem is repeated injury.

So, one of those changes?

They say getting athletes out of the game sooner.

"We are just not getting into the point where we are pulling kids out when they're hurt and kind of forcing them to get better,” Maerlender said.

The center says it's still getting started with its research, but has one ultimate goal in mind--improving sport safety.

"We don't want to start stop sports. Can we be smarter? Can be safer ? Can we do it better? Absolutely. That's where our focus should be,” Maerlender said.

For more information about the facility and its research, http://cb3.unl.edu/

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