Research Evaluating Sports Concussion Events-Rapid Assessment of Concussion and Evidence for Return (RESCUE-RACER): a two-year longitudinal observational study of concussion in motorsport

BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med. 2021 Feb;


Deakin, N. D., Suckling, J., & Hutchinson, P. J..



Introduction: Concussion is a clinical diagnosis, based on self-reported patient symptoms supported by clinical assessments across many domains including postural control, ocular/vestibular dysfunction, and neurocognition. Concussion incidence may be rising in motorsport which, combined with unresolved challenges to accurate diagnosis and lack of guidance on the optimal return-to-race timeframe, creates a difficult environment for healthcare practitioners. Methods and analysis: Research Evaluating Sports ConcUssion Events-Rapid Assessment of Concussion and Evidence for Return (RESCUE-RACER) evaluates motorsports competitors at baseline (Competitor Assessment at Baseline; Ocular, Neuroscientific (CArBON) study) and post-injury (Concussion Assessment and Return to motorSport (CARS) study), including longitudinal data. CArBON collects pre-injury neuroscientific data; CARS repeats the CArBON battery sequentially during recovery for competitors involved in a potentially concussive event. As its primary outcome, RESCUE-RACER will develop the evidence base for an accurate trackside diagnostic tool. Baseline objective clinical scoring (Sport Concussion Assessment Tool-5th edition (SCAT5)) and neurocognitive data (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing (ImPACT)) will be assessed for specificity to motorsport and relationship to existing examinations. Changes to SCAT5 and ocular, vestibular, and reaction time function (Dx 100) will be estimated by the reliability change index as a practical tool for trackside diagnosis. Neuropsychological (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB)) assessments, brain MRI (7 Tesla) and salivary biomarkers will be compared with the new tool to establish utility in diagnosing and monitoring concussive injuries. Ethics and dissemination: Ethical approval was received from East of England-Cambridge Central Research Ethics Committee (18/EE/0141). Participants will be notified of study outcomes via publications (to administrators) and summary reports (funder communications). Ideally, all publications will be open access. Trial registration number: February 2019 nationally (Central Portfolio Management System 38259) and internationally ( NCT03844282).

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