To date, CARE has enrolled >50,000 MSA cadets/midshipmen and NCAA student-athletes from 30 participating collegiate institutions, representing 26 NCAA sports and military training, and other recreational activities. In addition, the CARE study has captured data on over 5,000 concussed cadets/midshipmen and athletes – the largest concussion database of its kind.
From the outset, this public-private study was designed to answer key knowledge gaps around clinical and neurobiological recovery, brain structure and function, and factors predicting outcomes in military service academy members and NCAA student-athletes.
The CARE data collected to date represents the most diverse concussion data of its type ever collected and allows for analysis of groups often neglected in the medical literature. The CARE data set is diverse in terms of race (36% non-white), gender (40% female), and levels of head impact exposure from participants in contact sports, limited-contact sports, non-contact sports, and military service academy members. It is also the first major concussion study to assess both women and men in 24 sports; prior to CARE, most concussion literature came from men’s football and men’s ice hockey.
The CARE Consortium has published more than 90 scientific papers and has been influential in improving sport participation for athletes of all ages.
Results from CARE studies have direct translational impact on current practices in the assessment, diagnosis, and management of concussion in military service members and athletes. CARE has begun to yield evidence to inform our understanding on the natural history of clinical and neurobiological recovery after acute concussion, as well as identifying which factors are most strongly associated with recovery, and risk for poor outcomes in military service members and NCAA athletes. Findings from CARE will have direct impact on current best practice in the management and return to activity by military personnel and athletes after acute concussion. The ability to more precisely determine the diagnostic and prognostic utility of fluid and imaging biomarkers is a key deliverable for ongoing studies.