Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion & Stroke

Our children's safety when playing sports is a community responsibility. PUCCS was developed to increase awareness of this issue.

The rate of concussion injury for youth hockey is only slightly less than that of professionals. Yet few tools exist to deal with diagnosis and monitoring of concussions, and even fewer tools exist to help heal them. As researchers, amateur players and parents we could not let this trend continue. Our sponsors and volunteers have allowed us to raise nearly $300,000, which has been used to fund advanced concussion research, visit Western New York Schools, co-develop a concussion education video with the Buffalo Sabres and win the 2013 James Patterson Advocacy Award from the Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference. We are proud to announce that we recently awarded $35,000 to two University at Buffalo departments to further understand concussions. PUCCS granted UBís Department of Orthopaedicsí study, which involves evaluating the overall lifestyle, cognitive strengths, behavior patterns and physical health of former professional athletes. PUCCS also awarded UBís Department of Neurosurgery two grants that will be used to research biomarkers to help with the process of diagnosing concussions and using CT perfusion scanning for predicting post-concussive deficits. PUCCS is seeking funds to help with research that will allow us to better understand and develop the clinical tools necessary to help young athletes manage and recover from the effects of concussion and stroke.

Our vision is to use the imaging resources available in medicine to develop the most accurate tools to assist clinicians and coaches to more accurately assess and identify the severity of injury and eventually determine when a player can safely return to the game. This work will combine CT perfusion, functional MRI, cerebral angiography, and other state-of-the-art imaging modalities. In some instances, these tools will be used to help patients manage their recovery but initially to better understand what is happening inside the brain itself.

For the parents and individuals who have had to deal with this injury, this is not an abstract concept. It is a day to day reality. The devastating headaches and memory loss are real. The chronic personality changes are misunderstood and affect entire families, every minute of the day.

Our mission is to provide the tools necessary to understand and prevent concussions as an injury in all sports.