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The Chuck Noll Foundation For Brain Injury Research Announces Inaugural Research Grants


Pittsburgh region scores high in traumatic brain injury research

The Chuck Noll Foundation For Brain Injury Research has awarded 5 grants
to Pittsburgh research teams at the University of Pittsburgh, Carnegie
Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. The
Foundation's Board of Directors approved grants totaling over $600,000
with a first-year distribution of $278,000.

"We are so proud to award grants to these outstanding research teams and
institutions," said Arthur J. Rooney II, President of the Pittsburgh
Steelers and Chairman of the Foundation Board. "Chuck Noll was a great
coach who was ahead of his time in recognizing the need for a better
understanding of sports related brain injuries. He would be very pleased
with these grants, especially being awarded to Pittsburgh based
researchers," added Rooney.

The following is a list of the grants along with the names of the
research team members and a description of the research:

Randomized Controlled Trial of a Precision
Vestibular Treatment in Adolescents

Investigator(s): Dr. Michael Collins and Dr. Anthony Kontos


This is a one-year randomized controlled study of a specific treatment
approach for adolescent patients following a sport-related concussion
(SRC). The purpose is to determine the effectiveness of this treatment
compared to standard of care (i.e., behavioral management interventions)
for reducing recovery time, symptoms, and cognitive impairment in
adolescent patients with specific symptoms.

Decosahexaenoid Acid and Presynaptic Mechanisms
in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Investigator(s): Dr. C. Edward Dixon and Dr. Shaun Carlson
University of Pittsburgh

A three-year study to use one of the brain's fatty acids to improve the
functioning of neurons in the brain that have been damaged by multiple
mild traumatic brain injuries. This study will determine the effects of
Docosahexaenoid Acid (DHA) treatment on specific aspects of the
neurotransmission deficits that occur after experimental repetitive mild
traumatic brain injury (RMTBI) in rats.

Use of Brain Diffusion MRI Connectometry to
Quantitate Connectome Changes

Dr. Juan Fernandez-Miranda and Dr. Fang-Cheng
(Frank) Yeh

Institution(s): UPMC

This is a one-year study to assess changes in the brains of retired
contact sport athletes with post traumatic disorders. The study will
objectively track any changes in these athletes' brain function and
structure as a result of a treatment program based on the research that
nerve fibers and their network continually change throughout life.

Automated Detection and Suppression of Brain

Principal Investigator(s): Dr. Pulkit
Grover, Dr. Marlene Behrmann, Dr. Michael Tarr, Dr. Shawn Kelly, Dr.
Jonathan Elmer, and Dr. Lori Shutter

Institution(s): Carnegie
Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh

This is a three-year study to develop a novel system for concussion
monitoring and treatment. The proposed work brings together scientific
leaders in engineering, neuroscience, and clinicians in brain injury
research at CMU and University of Pittsburgh to develop automated
noninvasive monitoring and treatment of concussions.

Biomarker Panel for Inflammation and Tau in
Concussed Athletes

Principal Investigator(s): Dr.
Ava Puccio and Dr. Jessica Gill

Institution(s): University
of Pittsburgh and National Institutes of Health

This is a three-year study to assess biomarkers following a concussion
for potential monitoring for return to play, school or work. This study
aims to generate pilot data to identify and provide a temporal timeline
of biological pathways implicated in concussion, (i.e. tau and
inflammatory pathways) using novel sweat patch analyses and correlation
to objective concussion symptomology.

To learn more about the grant awardees and their research click
to view our website.

"I've been working in this field for over two decades and have led,
participated and reviewed many research proposals. The proposals the
Foundation has selected are at the forefront of traumatic brain injury
research and are highly deserving of these grants," said Dr. Julian
Bailes, Chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery and Co-Director of
the NorthShore Neurological Institute in Evanston, IL, and a member of
the Chuck Noll Foundation's Medical Advisory Board.

Other members of the Medical Advisory Board echoed the same sentiments.
"If we could have funded all the research proposals we received, we
would have," said Dr. Joseph Maroon, Professor and Vice Chairman, Heindl
Scholar in Neuroscience Department of Neurological Surgery University of
Pittsburgh Medical Center. "They were all outstanding and speak both to
the interest in traumatic brain injury research and the quality of work
being conducted here in Pittsburgh," concluded Maroon.

"What is really impressive with this first round of grants," said Dr.
Regis Haid, founding partner of Atlanta Brain and Spine Care and Medical
Director of the Piedmont Spine Center and Neuroscience Service Line,
Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia, "is that we were able to fund
research in basic science, diagnosis, and treatment. This speaks volumes
about the Foundation's mission and the extent of the research being

About Chuck Noll Foundation For Brain Injury

The Chuck Noll Foundation For Brain Injury
Research was established in December 2016 through an initial grant from
the Pittsburgh Steelers. Chuck Noll, for whom the Foundation is named,
enjoyed a 23-year coaching career with the Steelers that culminated with
his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1993. Noll's
commitment to the well-being of his players ultimately led to the
development of the ImPACT test (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and
Cognitive Testing) used by NFL team doctors since 2007, and now
internationally used to help monitor concussions for athletes at all
levels. More information on the Chuck Noll Foundation For Brain Injury
Research can be found at:

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