Partnership makes Schulich Medicine & Dentistry the Canadian centre for concussion education and research

Each year in Canada, more than 94,000 people experience a concussion, and more than half of those are sport-related.

A new partnership announced as part of See the Line aims to help understand and mitigate the long-term effects of concussion. The partnership makes Western University’s Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry the new home for the Canadian chapter of the Sports Legacy Institute (SLI Canada). Combining Western University’s leading expertise in medical research and education, with SLI Canada’s established reputation for concussion awareness, sets a new standard for the quality of education, research and healthcare related to concussions in sport.

"No other institution in Canada has such a broad range of experts dedicated to solving the problem of sports-related concussion," said Tim Fleiszer, Executive Director of SLI Canada. "This partnership with Schulich Medicine & Dentistry will enable us to join together to operate outstanding education and prevention programs and perform cutting-edge research. This is a big step towards solving the concussion crisis in Canada."

Established in 2012, SLI Canada is the first international chapter of the Boston-based Sports Legacy Institute. SLI Canada operates prevention, education and awareness programs across the country, including the SLI Community Educators (SLICE) program which teaches student-athletes about the dangers of head injuries. The Sports Legacy Institute is also world-renowned for its Brain Bank, a resource for researchers to study the donated brains of athletes in order to investigate the long-term effects of head trauma. Working in partnership with the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, SLI Canada aims to advance the study, treatment and prevention of the effects of brain trauma in Canadian athletes and other at-risk groups.

"Together with SLI Canada, we will be able to further build on the leading-edge work we are doing in this area," said Dr. Michael J. Strong, Dean, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry. "This collaboration makes us uniquely positioned to lead the way in concussion education and research."

Schulich Medicine & Dentistry and its partners at Robarts Research Institute, Lawson Health Research Institute, its affiliated hospitals and the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, are home to a dedicated group of individuals who are investigating a range of concussion-related questions. These initiatives include the development of therapeutic strategies to better understand the short- and long-term effects of concussion, and how we might better establish clinical indicators to determine when an injured athlete can safely return to play.