FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Sandy Caligiore
July 25, 2017
Saranac Lake, N.Y. – When the 44th Saranac Lake Can-Am Rugby Tournament kicks off Friday, it will also mark the fifth consecutive year that event organizers have partnered with the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School.
The joint mission is to raise the level of knowledge on the complications arising from concussions.
Dr. Jorge Serrador and his team from the Integrative Human Physiology Laboratory at Rutgers have begun to understand the immediate effects of aconcussive hit.
“We have been attending the Can-Am tournament, and are working towards better understanding of the physiological effects of concussion,” said Dr. Serrador. He added that concussions are the most common form of traumatic brain injury worldwide.
“We still do not fully understand what happens to the body immediately following the concussive injury, or how the body recovers from a concussion. This lack of understanding has made it extremely difficult for the medical community to develop accurate diagnostic tools.”
Over 80 tournament players have participated in this long-term study each summer. Now Dr. Serrador’s diagnostic team is increasingly able to connect the reduced brain blood flow that results from a concussive hit with the symptoms of concussion.
“Thanks to these rugby players at Can-Am, we are starting to get our first insight into what happens to brain blood flow during a concussion. We are going to use this information to work towards a new, on-field diagnostic measure of concussion severity. This could help us better determine which players have suffered a serious concussion, as well as allow us to develop new treatments.”
The Rutgers team will, once again, be in attendance this weekend with research tents. They are encouraging fans and tournament supporters to stop by and discuss the topic with these experts.
Anyone who has suffered a head hit, whether in or out of tournament action, is welcomed to join in this significant exchange of information.
“Ultimately, we seek better diagnostics and treatments to help with player safety and recovery,” concluded Dr. Serrador.
The Can-Am Rugby Tournament will be contested, Friday through Sunday, with 120 sides on 16 pitches in Saranac Lake and Lake Placid. Championship matches are set for North Country Community College on the final day.
For more information and a schedule of matches, please log on to www.canamrugby.com.
About the Saranac Lake Rugby Club and the Can-Am Rugby Tournament
The Saranac Lake Mountaineer Rugby Club was founded in 1972 by a small group of local rugby enthusiasts who introduced a fledgling sport to the community.
Later, the organization created the Can-Am Rugby Tournament in 1974 with a modest eight teams. The tournament’s mission has been to promote the sport of rugby across all platforms, from youth to old boys, in a beautiful Adirondack setting with a clear focus on the responsible and sustainable growth of the game.
The initial goal in the early years of the tournament was to grow by eight teams annually. Since 1990, a total of 100 sides has participated across all age divisions, men and women, with the 2017 event boasting 120 teams. As the Can-Am Rugby Tournament has grown, international competition has been added. The Saranac Lake Rugby Club and the Can-Am tournament have hosted five international test matches with men in 1980 and 1988, before adding women in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
In addition, the tournament provides substantial funding annually in support of local youth and charitable organizations, including scholarships for area athletes.
The tournament website is www.canamrugby.com. Like us and follow us on Facebook and Twitter at @CanAmRugby. Also #CanAmRugbyTournament