ICHIRF – The International Concussion & Head Injury Research Foundation

The International Concussion & Head Injury Research Foundation, ICHIRF, is a UK-based initiative, set up with the intention of carrying out in-depth research, looking at the long-term effects of concussion on retired sportsmen and sportswoman who have competed in contact sports.

Today there is a major focus on the impact of concussion and head injuries in sport. ICHIRF has recently launched the Concussion in Sport study – this ground-breaking study seeks to establish whether retired sportsmen and sportswomen have an increased incidence, or suffer an earlier onset, of neurodegenerative disorders later in life due to multiple concussions.

ICHIRF’s research looks to recruit volunteers from all contact sports, as well as individuals who have never been concussed who will act as the control group, to participate in the project. 

Retired sportsmen and women from all contact sports can enrol in the research (e.g., rugby union, rugby league, football, boxing and other equestrian sports) and ICHIRF is also appealing to members of the public who have never had a concussion to contribute to the study as the ‘control group’. These volunteers will enable a direct comparison to be made with the ‘concussed group’. 

How to get involved:

To participate volunteers are simply requested to indicate an interest by completing a brief registration form at the Concussion in Sport website (www.ichirf.org). Once this has been logged, the individual will be offered the opportunity to complete an online questionnaire on an annual basis.

From the volunteers who complete the online questionnaire, a number will be invited to attend for detailed medical screening in London. This will involve MRI scanning, blood tests, neuropsychological screening and a review by a number of different medical experts. The costs for screening will be covered by ICHIRF and the project will continue to monitor the progress of all the participants (questionnaire only and screened individuals) over subsequent years.

To find out more please visit our website www.ichirf.org, or email info@ichirf.org.