Rugby and the Brain

Dr Grey (left) and team conduct a Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation test

Research into concussion testing in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, was featured in the BBC Panorama episode Rugby and the Brain - Tackling the Truth, broadcast on Monday 21 September. In the epsiode former rugby international John Beattie investigates the link between rugby and brain injuries.

During the programme Dr Michael J Grey, Reader in Motor Neuroscience, and his team carried out a brain stimulation procedure on John Beattie. Using a technique called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS), Dr Grey is able to send an electrical signal to an area of the brain which causes John's arm to twitch. The test measures how quickly the nervous system responds to the electrical signal. The aim is to develop techniques that will one day make pitch-side diagnosis of concussion completely scientific and objective.

The episode can be seen on BBC iPlayer here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b06drxgq/panorama-rugby-and-the-brain-tackling-the-truth 

Dr Grey is a motor neuroscience physiologist with interests in cortical/spinal plasticity and neurorehabilitation. He uses non-invasive electrophysiology, transcranial magnetic stimulation and neuroimaging techniques to study human movement. He has a particular interest in acquired brain injury including stroke and concussion.