Campus Briefs

URMC publishes athlete head injury study

A UR Medical Center study published Monday, Nov. 14 revealed that brain scans of high school football and hockey players showed subtle injury after routine hits to the head during regular play.

Researchers, whose findings were reported online in the journal Magnetic Resonance Imaging, say that the results raise “powerful questions” about the severity of mild head injury among youths with developing brains, despite that the research only involved a small sample of athletes.

The study, which was led by Jeffrey Bazarian, associate professor of emergency medicine at URMC, used nine athletes and six people in a control group from Rochester who volunteered to participate in the study during the 2006-2007 sports season. Researchers used a new statistical approach to study brain images from diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) — a scan that is similar to an MRI but captures and relays quantitative data rather than relaying pictures.

Among the nine athletes, only one was diagnosed with a sports-related concussion, but six others were diagnosed with “abnormalities on their post-season DTI scans” that more closely resembled scans of a concussed brain than scans of the normal brains in the control group.

URMC’s study could be pioneering in this increasingly important research — according to Bazarian, as most other studies on the topic compare the injured brain of one person to the normal brain of another person from a control group, rather than comparing the same player before and after the season. Consequently, URMC’s study was able to search for “very subtle changes,” in the subjects’ brains, Bazarian said.
This study’s success has already set in motion follow up studies — Bazarian will comence work on an NFL-funded study of UR football players to this fall.

UR Mock Trial earns high marks  in regional competition

The UR Mock Trial club received five individual awards at the third annual Colgate Classical Tournament held at Colgate University this November. Senior Yoni Bokser, sophomore Shalin Nohria, junior Jiore Craig and sophomore Jonathan Johnson received awards for outstanding attorney performances, while junior Anja Weiss received an award for outstanding witness performance.

This year’s competition case involved an intoxicated driver who was involved in an accident that killed one of her passengers. Each competing school must organize a prosecution side and a defense side. Hamilton College earned first place in the overall competition.

In Rochester

McDonald’s cancels expansion, greater development plans in question

As UR’s ambitious College Town project tentatively progresses, the McDonald’s on Mt. Hope Boulevard last week announced that they are withdrawing from a broader plan of expansion in the area and do not plan to go forward with a proposal to bulldoze the existing store, rebuild and expand.

The McDonald’s, which is 30 years old, abandoned the project after facing criticism from the neighborhood about the operating hours of the drive-through. It appears that the store will remain open and possibly revisit the expansion idea, long a controversial topic in the neighborhood, at some point in the future.

UR Senior Vice President for Administration and Finance Ronald Paprocki said that this development will have no impact on UR’s College Town project, which involves a 16-acre parcel of land on Mt. Hope Boulevard that would feature an array of restaurants, shops and office space.

The city of Rochester has rezoned the broader area along Mt. Hope Boulevard into a new “Collegetown Village District,” Paprocki said. This project is “broader” than UR’s College Town project, but Paprocki said it is clear that UR’s project is the “centerpiece of the district.”

It is unclear if McDonald’s decision to withdraw their proposal will have any impact on the city’s plans for revitalization in the area, but Paprocki stressed that the situation does not affect the planning or execution of UR’s College Town.

Criminal apprehended in string of violent attacks

Joseph P. Myles, who is accused of stabbing three people this week — one fatally — was apprehended on Tuesday, Nov. 15 on Manitou Street, near where the first attack occurred on Sunday, Nov. 13. He pleaded not guilty in Rochester City Court on Wednesday, Nov. 16.

UR Security sent out an email on Monday, Nov. 14 to inform the campus community of Myles actions, stating that they were sharing the information as a “precaution.”

The email stated that Security was monitoring the robbery and assault that occurred at 9:15 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 14 at the Gibbs Place apartments on Chestnut Street. Myles allegedly attempted to rob an employee in the lobby and then attacked the employee with a knife before fleeing with money.

Myles is charged with second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of first-degree assualt for his actions this week. He is being held in Monroe County Jail without bail and is scheduled to return for a preliminary hearing on Monday, Nov. 21.

Leah Buletti is a member of the class of 2013.

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