The Challenge:

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a serious public health concern and is one of the leading causes of death and disability in the US. Approximately 2.53 million TBI-related emergency department visits, including 812,000 occurring among children, occur annually and an estimated 5.3 million US citizens are living with disability as a result of a traumatic brain injury, according to the CDC.

Roughly 70% of TBIs that occur are considered “mild” in severity, which encompasses concussions. While these injuries are classified as mild TBI or mTBI, they have the potential to result in significant morbidity. Data suggests that up to 30% of all mTBI patients go on to develop persistent post-concussive symptoms (PPCS) lasting greater than 3 months and sometimes years following an injury. Ongoing research efforts are underway to identify who may be susceptible for prolonged recovery earlier to facilitate treatment sooner and reduce long term disability.

Further, long-term consequences of mTBI and/or repeated head impacts are still unknown, however some data suggests they may contribute to early onset of neurodegenerative processes in the brain. Much more research is needed to elucidate the connection between mTBI and neurodegenerative disease such as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), as it is still unclear why some patients with history of mTBI go on to develop CTE and others don’t, what other factors may contribute to this disease process, how does CTE differ from other neurodegenerative processes?

UCLA BrainSPORT Impact

Our goal at UCLA BrainSPORT is to make leading discoveries through research, provide forward-thinking diagnosis and treatment, and transfer our knowledge of sports related concussion and brain health to the broader community.
As the first comprehensive brain injury center to focus on pediatric and young adult patients, we continue to lead the field through widespread collaboration and prolific activity to improve the knowledge base and reduce suffering related to mTBI in our community.

How your gift helps?

Your support of UCLA BrainSPORT is invaluable. As a registered non-profit 501(c), we cannot do our work without thoughtful donations, big and small, from our community. Many of our initiatives begin unfunded, as a labor of love. Donations allow us the flexibility to begin new projects and try novel initiatives that can develop into long standing programs or therapies.
Should you choose to support UCLA BrainSPORT through our general donation page, your donation may contribute to the below initiatives:

Training the Next Generation – Brain Injury Fellowships in Neurology and Neuropsychology
One of only a few Sports Neurology and Sports Neuropsychology fellowships in the world, The Tisch BrainSPORT Fellowships are truly unique opportunities for the budding, young generation of physicians and clinicians. Our trainees will go on to shape the field for years to come. When you make a gift to support the Tisch BrainSPORT Fellowships, you are investing in a healthier future.

Inspiring young scientists and researchers – The UCLA BrainSPORT High School Internship
Our program hosts 3-5 high school students each summer to provide a one-of-a-kind experience in research and medicine. Our students get hands on experience with clinical research, learn about public health community outreach strategy, develop long-lasting relationships with experts in the field, and produce a presentation for peer-to-peer education of sports related concussion.

Support Community Engagement Efforts
A key aspect to our mission, our program regularly engages with community partners to ensure our larger community has the best information and tools to participate in sports safely. Many of our efforts are done pro-bono and your gift allows us to continue this important community service. These services include but are not limited to:

  • Educational sessions for athletes, parents, coaches, athletic trainers and school administrators
  • Preseason neurological testing for youth organizations and school partners
  • Development of training materials for concussion stakeholders

Education Primary Care Providers - Concussion Champions CME Course
The Concussion Champions CME course is designed to train front line providers with the tools and updated knowledge they need to manage concussions successfully. As our understanding of concussion management quickly evolves, it is important to share our expert knowledge with folks seeing many concussion patients. Our target audience includes primary care physicians, athletic trainers, emergency department physicians, nurses, neuropsychologists, and sports medicine physicians.

For more information about donating or if you would like to donate to a specific cause within our program, please contact:

Nora McCarl
Senior Director of Development
[email protected] 

Chantelle Eastman
Associate Director of Development
[email protected]