CREST Concussion REcovery STudy

Have you recently experienced a concussion injury?

If you live in WA, are aged between 18-65 years, and have been diagnosed with concussion by a medical doctor within the last seven days, you may be eligible to participate in a research project on concussion.

About the study

What is the purpose of the study?

Concussion is a short-term disturbance of brain function due to either a direct blow to the head or from force transmitted to the head from an impact to another part of the body. A person does not have to lose consciousness (“be knocked out”) to have a concussion.

The most common causes of concussion are falls, car accidents, sports injuries and assaults.  All people with a suspected concussion should be assessed by a medical doctor to make the diagnosis of concussion.

Following concussion, the symptoms of most patients’ resolve within 10-14 days. However, a small proportion of people’s symptoms do not resolve, leaving them with persisting post-concussion symptoms including altered thinking, headaches, dizziness and fatigue.

We are investigating a number of factors that may help us to identify people at risk of delayed recovery following a concussion injury.  

What will participation in this study involve?

The project has two phases:

Phase I:  involves a short telephone interview to collect information about your concussion injury, your symptoms and some more details about your general health. You may also be invited to participate in Phase II of the study if you are eligible.

Phase II ( for an eligible subset of participants): If you meet the inclusion criteria and are able to attend the research centre at QEII Medical Centre you will be invited to participate in an extended set of study activities including:

• MRI scan

• Blood test

• Exercise tolerance test on an exercise bike

• Neuropsychological tests (to test your memory and thinking)

Please see the Patient Information Sheet here for further information

It is expected that 500 participants will be recruited into the Phase I study, and 120 participants will be recruited into the Phase II study.


For both Phase I and II participants, researchers will contact you by telephone at one-, three- six- and 12-month intervals after your first participation day.  You will be asked basic questions about your condition, and any remaining symptoms you may be experiencing.

What are the possible benefits of taking part?

We cannot guarantee or promise that you will receive any benefits from this research, however by participating you will be helping to:

• Improve our knowledge and understanding of concussion injuries

• Enable us to better manage concussion injuries in the future

• Assess the effectiveness of treatment strategies in future clinical trials

Other possible benefits to you may include identification of persistent post-concussion symptoms, access to advanced neuropsychological testing, and access to novel “cutting edge” MRI imaging techniques.

What are the possible risks involved in taking part?

Blood collection: having a blood sample taken may cause some discomfort, bruising, minor infection or bleeding.  If this happens, it can be easily treated.

MRI Scans: MRI stands for Magnetic Resonance Imaging. A MRI scanner is a machine that uses electromagnetic radiation (radio waves) in a strong magnetic field to take clear pictures of the inside of the body.  Electromagnetic radiation is not the same as ionising radiation used, for example, in X-rays. The pictures taken by the machine are called MRI scans.

There are no proven long-term risks related to MRI scans as used in this research project. MRI is considered to be safe when performed at a centre with appropriate procedures. However, the magnetic attraction for some metal objects can pose a safety risk, so it is important that metal objects are not taken into the scanner room.

What will happen to information about me?

Any information obtained for the purpose of this research study that can identify you will be treated as confidential and securely stored.  It will be disclosed only with your permission, or as required by law.

Your personal information will be stored in re-identifiable (coded) format with a study allocated ID. Paper copies of your personal information will be stored within a secure filing cabinet in a locked research office designated for research staff only. Information relevant to the study will be entered into an electronic database, and will be encrypted and protected on a secure network accessible only by authorised research staff.

In line with WA Health Guidelines all research data will be retained for seven years, after which time it will be destroyed.

It is anticipated that the results of this study will be published and/or presented in a variety of forums. In any publication and/or presentation, information will be provided in such a way that you cannot be identified, except with your permission.

Are there any costs associated with participating in the study?

There are no costs associated with participating in this study.  All tests required as part of the study will be provided to you free of charge. You will be reimbursed for reasonable travel and parking expenses associated with the study visit if you are involved in Phase II, upon presentation of an expense receipt.

No member of the research team will receive personal financial benefit from your involvement in this study (other than their ordinary wages).

Further information

If you are interested in the outcome of the study the researchers can provide you with a copy of the research findings once these have been finalised. Please contact Professor Melinda Fitzgerald on (08) 6457 0514 to ask for a copy of the study findings.

If you want further information about this project or if you have any medical problems which may be related to your participation (for example, any side effects), please contact: Prof Melinda Fitzgerald on (08) 6457 0514, Monday – Friday, 09:00 to 17:00 or at

This study has Ethics Approval through Royal Perth Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee (#RGS0000003024) and Curtin University (HRE2019-0209). If you have any concerns about the conduct of the project or your rights as a research participant, please contact the East Metropolitan Health Service (EMHS) Research Ethics and Governance Unit on (08) 9224 2292 or and quote the ethics approval number RGS0000003024.

The Concussion Study Participant Information Sheet can be downloaded here


We are now recruiting people who have recently experienced a concussion to participate in this study. Please provide your details below if you are interested in participating, or would like further information. A member of the research team will contact you within 24 hours. 

Alternatively you may contact us by email or phone if you would prefer:

0466 526 849

About us

This study is a collaboration between Royal Perth Hospital (RPH), Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Curtin University, The Perron Institute, The University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Telethon Kids Institute (TKI), and has been funded in part by The Neurotrauma Research Program. 

Coordinating Principal Investigator:

Professor Melinda Fitzgerald (Curtin University and the Perron Institute)

Principal Investigators:

Professor Daniel Fatovich (Royal Perth Hospital)

Associate Professor Mike Bynevelt (Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital)

Professor Suzanne Robinson (Curtin University)

Associate Professor Carmela Pestell (UWA)

Dr Melissa Licari (Telethon Kids Institute)

Associate Professsor Daniel Xu (Curtin University and WA Primary Health Alliance)

Research Team:

Dr Elizabeth Thomas (Project Lead)

Ms Aleksandra Gozt (PhD candidate)

Ms Anoek van Houselt (Masters Student)

Ms Jacinta Thorne (Research Assistant)

Contact Us


phone: 0466 526 849

Copyright © CREST Concussion REcovery STudy. All Rights Reserved

Curtin University 

Curtin Neuroscience Laboratory, Sarich Neuroscience Research Institute

Address: QEII Medical Centre, 8 Verdun Street, Nedlands WA 6009

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