UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology


Working with Saracens to monitor concussion in rugby

21 May 2015


A team of researchers from the UCL Institute of Neurology have joined the ongoing Saracens study for the 2015/16 season, which combines impact sensors with blood samples to determine the effects of concussion on rugby players.

In January, following an approach from James Drake of The Drake Foundation to set up a research project to study the effects of concussion, Saracens players began wearing impact sensors produced by X2 Bio-systems in Seattle which measure the force and direction of impact to the head.

The Drake Foundation have now extended the funding of the study so that from the start of the new Aviva Premiership season, players’ blood samples will be analysed to detect biomarkers associated with brain injury.

The data will be collected by researchers at the UCL Institute of Neurology under the guidance of Professor Huw Morris and Professor John Hardy, assisted by Professor Henrik Zetterberg who has studied the effects of concussion in ice hockey.

Saracens Head of Medical Joe Collins believes that the use of blood biomarkers, which are commonly used to detect illness and disease but can also detect brain injury, will significantly widen the range of the ongoing study.

Further information


  • Saracens players wearing impact detection patches (courtesy of Saracens)