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Jen Treacy:  Exploring the acute and chronic effects of concussions

Jen's research into concussion assessment involves testing athletes pre-season and then again post-injury to determine recovery times. This is achieved using a cognitive measure and an experimental headset.  She is evaluating the NuroChek headset as a diagnostic tool for acute concussions in athletes, as well as its use in assessing people with chronic post-concussion symptoms.

Jen is also examining sex-related differences in the electroencephalographic (EEG) behavior observed by the headset, and other risk factors associated with concussion prevalence and recovery.  She has also done research on untreated concussions, which has been published. Concussions have better outcomes when they are identified earlier, especially in athletes.  A concussion increases the risk of a second head impact and if untreated, a person will not get a chance to recover completely and can experience long-term effects.

Jen will be looking to broaden her research into the EEG behavior of subconcussive impacts and persistent post-concussive symptoms (like mood changes and quality-of-life factors), and further research into (and awareness of) concussions in women, which have different implications and are less frequently studied.

Jen moved to New Zealand to study in 2019, and her favorite experiences have been embracing the Kiwi outdoors lifestyle and attending the many free science lectures in Tauranga.  She also plays disc golf and roller derby whenever she can.

Research Publication:

  • Treacy,J., & Heflin,L. (2021). Neuropsychological functioning in athletes with untreated concussion at moderate elevation. The Journal of Sport and Exercise Science5(1). doi:10.36905/jses.2021.01.10