Cutting edge concussion research is happening at UNL all thanks to a brand new Center for Brain, Biology and Behavior.
It's also known as CB3 located on the east side of Memorial Stadium. Dr Dennis Malfese is confident that the day is quickly approaching where a football player takes a hard hit on the field, is sidelined, evaluated and then either cleared or benched depending on his medical results.
“It’s important to remember that pulling somebody out of a play because of a concussion, while it takes a player out of a play, it's ultimately going to save that player's life and their cognitive abilities,” said doctor and concussion researcher at the CB3, Dr. Dennis Malfese.
Each year, the average college football team will report about 20 players who suffer a significant concussion throughout the season. Dr. Malfese hopes that he and his research team at the CB3 cannot only change that statistic, but save some lives in the process.
"The Trainers, the coaches, the scientists working with them….we're all really concerned about their outcome and so we're all working together to try to develop ways to safeguard them so they will go on to lead productive lives,” said Dr. Malfese.
Dr. Malfese and his staff have access to cutting edge medical and behavioral technology, but it is one piece of equipment at the center of concussion research that could prevent a player from being sidelined for life.
The concussion cap is a vital part of the research. Dr. Malfese hopes that in about two years, after a player suffers a hit on the field, he can come out of the game, put on the cap and they will know within ten minutes whether or not he has a concussion.
"It should help us come up with better ways of evaluating how much quiet time they should have or when they should return to play and not be in danger of more severe concussions occurring later,” said Dr. Malfese.
Dr. Malfese believes the cap will have great success in the Husker football program because of the way UNL tries to mesh academics with athletics, to make both programs even stronger.
"This is the most exciting environment I’ve been in in my career. Nowhere have I found this kind of excitement in academics and athletics in terms of collaborating,” said Dr. Malfese.