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Concussion research

Research project

Our team aims to:

  • Redefine child and adolescent concussion treatment by examining the most effective ways to accelerate and support recovery
  • Understand how young people recover from concussion
  • Identify biomarkers (e.g., brain imaging, blood proteins) or risk factors for slow concussion recovery
  • Improve parent and community access to evidence-based concussion management

Program Leader


Concussion Essentials

**Currently Recruiting Participants**

Compares whether an individualised approach to treatment (including education, physiotherapy and psychology), improves outcomes and recovery time for young people following a concussion compared to usual care.

We are recruiting 8 to 18 year olds who have sustained a concussion. Our study includes physiotherapy and cognitive assessments, questionnaires, and symptom monitoring. The study is based at The Royal Children’s Hospital and a second location in Mt Waverley, with options for telehealth also available.

Currently, we are recruiting participants who are within 17-days post concussion. In mid-2021 we will be starting recruitment for children and adolescents with persisting symptoms up to 12-months post-injury.

Please contact us if you’re interested in further information.

Doctors and health professionals can refer using the Clinician Referral Form.


An evidence-based digital smartphone application, developed in collaboration with the AFL and Curve Tomorrow. Designed using the latest scientific knowledge of concussion, the app provides ready access to current clinical best practice regarding adult and paediatric concussion. The app includes a sideline assessment tool and provides individually tailored guidance to help users or parents manage a safe return to normal activities (e.g., school, study, work, exercise and sport).

Visit the HeadCheck website

Take CARe Biomarkers

Followed children and adolescents for up to three months post-concussion, examining symptoms, MRI brain imaging, blood biomarkers, cognition (thinking abilities), physical function, parent and child mental health, quality of life, and cost of concussion.

Grant Funders

The work of this team is supported by grants from The Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation, The National Health and Medical Research Council, and the Medical Research Future Fund.

Our Team

Study Investigators – Prof Vicki Anderson, Prof Franz Babl, Prof Gavin Davis, Dr Peter Barnett, Dr Kevin Dunne, Adj. Prof Audrey McKinlay, Mr Stephen Hearps

Project Coordinator – Nicholas Anderson

Clinical Neuropsychologists – Vanessa Rausa, Dr Michael Takagi

Physiotherapists – Katie Davies, Bianca Charles, Amy Thomson, Tess Peverill, Rohini Nayyar

Research Assistants – Fabian Fabiano, Remy Pugh

PhD Students – Feiven Fan, Alice Gornall, Vanessa Rausa, Jesse Shapiro, Ella Swaney, Joy Noelle Yumul

Key Publications

  • Gornall et al., (In Press). Mental health after paediatric concussion: a systematic review and meta-analysis. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Shapiro et al., (In Press). No evidence of a difference in SWI lesion burden or functional network connectivity between children with typical and delayed recovery two weeks post-concussion. Journal of Neurotrauma.
  • Shapiro et al., (In Press). Validation of the SCAT5 and Child SCAT5 word list memory task. Journal of Neurotrauma
  • Anderson et al., (2021). Protocol for a randomised clinical trial of multimodal postconcussion symptom treatment and recovery: the Concussion Essentials Study. BMJ Open.
  • Rausa et al., (2021). Neuroimaging in paediatric mild traumatic brain injury: a systematic review. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.
  • Clarke et al., (2020). Child concussion recognition and recovery: a community delivered, evidenced-based solution. Annals of Translational Medicine.
  • Bressan et al., (2020). Use of the sport concussion assessment tools in the emergency department to predict persistent post-concussive symptoms in children. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health.
  • Shapiro et al., (2020). Examining Microstructural White Matter Differences between Children with Typical and Those with Delayed Recovery Two Weeks Post-Concussion. Journal of Neurotrauma
  • Teh et al., (2020). Acute cognitive postconcussive symptoms follow longer recovery trajectories than somatic postconcussive symptoms in young children. Brain Injury.
  • Anderson et al., (2020). Trajectories and Predictors of Clinician-Determined Recovery after Child Concussion. Journal of Neurotrauma.
  • Truss et al., (2020). Trajectories and Risk Factors for Pediatric Postconcussive Symptom Recovery.
  • Takagi et al., (2019). Does a computerized neuropsychological test predict prolonged recovery in concussed children presenting to the ED? Child Neuropsychology.
  • Takagi et al., (2019). Protocol for a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study of recovery pathways, acute biomarkers, and cost for children with persistent post-concussion symptoms: the Take CARe Biomarkers study. BMJ Open.
  • Parkin et al., (2019). Plasma TNF alpha is a predictor of persisting symptoms post-concussion in children. Journal of Neurotrauma.
  • Gornall et al., (2019). Behavioral and emotional difficulties following pediatric concussion. Journal of Neurotrauma.
  • Rausa et al., (2018). Predicting concussion recovery in children and adolescents in the emergency room. Current Neurology and Neuroscience Reports.
  • Lugones et al., (2018). Blood biomarkers in paediatric mild traumatic brain injury: a systematic review. Neuroscience and Behavioural Reviews.
  • Truss et al., (2017). Trajectories and Risk Factors for Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms Following Pediatric Concussion. Journal of Neurotrauma.
  • Davis G et al., (2017). What is the difference in concussion management in children as compared to adults? A systematic review. British Journal of Sports Medicine.
  • Hearps et al., (2017). Validation of a score to determine time to post-concussive recovery. Pediatrics,
  • Bressan et al., (2016). Protocol for a prospective, longitudinal, cohort study of post-concussive symptoms in children: the Take C.A.Re (Concussion Assessment and Recovery Research) study. BMJ Open.

Positions Available

We are currently recruiting students with a background in psychology or neuroscience who wish to undertake postgraduate research into paediatric concussion and/or intervention. Interested applicants should email: