Dr. Hunzinger’s research focuses on concussion and subsequent musculoskeletal injury as well as the long-term outcomes of repetitive head impact exposure among male and female collision sport athletes, and primarily rugby players. Her secondary research interests focus on utilizing large datasets to investigate the long term morbidity associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI) in older adults.
The Biomedical Research on Aging, Injury, and Neurotrauma (BRAIN) Lab is directed by Katie Hunzinger, PhD, ACSM-CEP. The goals of the lab are to better understand the mid- to late-life effects of repetitive neurotrauma, sports-related concussion, and traumatic brain injury (TBI). Identifying these effects will allow the development for secondary prevention programs to minimize the effects of neurotrauma-related dysfunction.
Implications of Lack of Sports Medicine Care in Community-Level American Rugby.
This study aims to identify the efficacy of current World Rugby concussion education efforts and the current state of concussion knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among community rugby stakeholders. Further, it aims to identify current access and utilization of sports medicine professionals within the community game.
Neuropathologic Sequelae of Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury
This study aims to leverage existing data within the Collaborative Neuropathology Network Characterizing ouTcomes of TBI (CONNECT-TBI) study to better understand the neuropathologic sequelae of sport-related TBI.
Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC)
Through existing collaborations the BRAIN lab has utilized ARIC cohort data to better understand the long-term effects of TBI in older adults. The BRAIN lab will continue to utilize this cohort to improve our understanding of the sequelae of TBI.
United States Major League Rugby (MLR)
Through existing collaborations the BRAIN lab is assisting in the study of concussion knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in MLR professional rugby players.
Concussion & Subsequent Musculoskeletal Injury
Through existing datasets the BRAIN lab is continuing to better understand the relationships and mechanisms responsible for the observed increased risk of musculoskeletal injury following concussion in a variety of populations.