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Jeffrey J. Bazarian, M.D., M.P.H.

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Jeffrey Bazarian’s interest in concussions and traumatic brain injury has evolved through 20 years as an emergency room physician – and with society’s increasing awareness of the best ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat the condition.

Currently he is investigating the consequences of repeat concussions and sub-concussive head blows among athletes. Data is being collected from University of Rochester football players, who volunteered to wear special helmets that tracked every hit they sustained during the 2011 season and undergo post-season ultra-sensitive diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) scans. Bazarian plans to correlate data from the helmet hits and DTIs, to measure the consequences of blows that are often not reported as injuries.

Another focus is on the accurate, objective diagnosis of head injuries. He is working on a rapid blood test that could assess patients in the military and on athletic fields, and also is building a national databank of blood and image samples from concussed athletes, which could be available to researchers nationwide.

In 2007 Bazarian served on the Institute of Medicine Committee on Gulf War and Health: Brain Injury in Veterans and Long Term Health Outcomes. The panel recommended more careful studies of veterans to confirm latent effects of the exposure of blasts and other head trauma suffered in combat. His research has further evolved into looking at whether brain injury is a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.