CWU Athletics may soon face concussions head on with new technology

Andrew Kollar, Staff Reporter

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

0 Flares 0 Flares ×

Through the efforts of Chris De Villeneuve, the executive director of the Student Medical and Counseling Clinic, CWU has an opportunity to be on the cutting edge of diagnosing brain injuries at sporting events.

The seriousness of head injuries in sports is just now being brought to light with the movie Concussion with Will Smith and doctors and scientists claiming that sports could have long term effects on the brain.

The movie Concussion  is  about a doctor (Will Smith) who discovers that the NFL is to blame for players having brain damage called chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Doctors and scientists have proved that head injuries lead to negative long-term effects on the brain. The link between football and brain injury is clear considering the Department of Veteran affairs found that 76 of 79 former professional football players had evidence of CTE.

The potential for brain damage reaches further than professional sports. There is an estimated 1.6 to 3.8 million concussions related to sports and recreational activities that occur in the United States each year, according to

Although there is no way to eliminate concussions in sports, there is a way to diagnose concussions on the spot. Brainscope is a portable and easy-to-use technology that uses electrochemical reactions to detect even the smallest amount of bruising  to the brain. The device uses  a head-strap containing multiple sensors that connect to a device with similar dimensions to a smartphone.  

“It’s an amazing piece of equipment, not only will it give the first objective test for concussions but it’ll save lives,” De Villeneuve said.

The product by Brainscope is called the “Ahead 300” and the cost, according to De Villeneuve, is expected to be around $7,500 per device. CWU is expected to purchase 10 devices, having multiple devices will allow for Brainscope to be available during all organized sporting events and intramurals.

Brainscope’s “Ahead 300” was FDA approved in September 2016 for patient assessments and is being distributed to a select few institutions including health care clinics, military and university and professional sports programs. These are considered by Brainscope to be “thought leaders.”

CWU has the chance to be a “thought leader” regarding how  concussions are diagnosed on and off the field, for an overall affordable price. The cost can create a sense of sticker shock, but this investment could save students thousands in the long run considering that the school will not pay for any medical bills for students even if the injury takes place under their program.

When a player is suspected to have suffered a concussion, they will receive a CT Angiography (CT scan) that will take multiple X-rays of the skull and brain.

“In Washington State, the average cost for a CT scan ranges from $1,750 – $4,500. That’s for the scan alone, you would receive an additional (professional) bill from the radiologist, the hospital and the treating physician.  Most students have insurance, but you’d still have a copay of $1,000 or more,” De Villeneuve said.

Along with the expensive costs, 90 percent of patients that receive computerized tomography (CT) scans for traumatic brain injuries are CT negative for structural brain damage which exposes patients to unnecessary radiation, according to

The “Ahead 300” is a technology that can increase player safety as well as giving the EMS Paramedicine students a chance for hands-on experience with the future of traumatic brain injury assessment.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

1 Comment

One Response to “CWU Athletics may soon face concussions head on with new technology”

  1. Kevin Earl Wood, Reporter Bay Community News dot Com on February 9th, 2017 12:32 pm

    I’ve studied and reported on Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) for over a year now, the product of my extensive investigation and research into the social and scientific of violent sports, particularly football…

    I’ve come to an unavoidable final conclusion that the only way to “treat” CTE is to “prevent” it in the first place.

    Prevention of brain damage by CTE in dangerous contact sports is simply to not let a child, youth or young adult put their bodies and brains in jeopardy to begin with.

    State and federal laws must passed to make it a crime, which actually it already on the books criminalizing child endangerment by subjecting a child to a dangerous situation that threatens the safety, life and well-being of a child..

    Football mothers MUST be fully informed as to the threat of CTE to a child’s safety, well- being, lives and ability to have normal educations and relationships with others, and as a suicide prevention method.

    We have laws to protect children from smoking, alcohol, sexual abuse, physical abuse, underage driving, military service at too young an age, etc., so why isn’t there yet a law.

    Football is a business of exploitation of children, youth and young adults, and adults, who do not have the social, mental and spiritual ability to say no to sports that involve injury of young folk but instead will pay big bucks at the games for entry to satisfy a lust for violence and to hell with the threat to our children, youth and young adults.

    As a scientist and social advocate who spent his life in engineering and social dangers, I can look at a 16 year old bashing his head into another human being at 15 MPH on the gridiron to be the most abominable crime of parents, particularly football moms, and dads, who would not allow their child to repeatedly run into a brick wall at 15 MPH or worse yet 30 MPH.

    Vector math also clearly tells us that two football players running at each at 15 MPH, and colliding during a tackle, is equivalent to letting your child run 30 MPH into a brick wall or in a car hitting a tree or telephone poe at 30 MPH.. Would you, as a parent, endanger your child by letting them run into a brick wall hundreds of times during a football season? Every football mom, particularly in Florida, should read and study my stories on CTE before endangering their child, youth or young adult.


If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Reddit 0 0 Flares ×
The student news site of Central Washington University
CWU Athletics may soon face concussions head on with new technology