More than 160 000 people experience a concussion every year. Half are sports related and they can come with some serious and lasting consequences. Right now there’s no way to treat a concussion other than a lot of rest, but researchers at Western University are hoping to change that.A concussion is a mild brain injury and because it’s mild people may tough it out, walk it off and ignore it, but some side effects can last for years.Researchers at Western are hoping to educate people about concussions and find better ways to identify and treat them.“I suffered a hit into my head through my helmet a slight loss of consciousness.”Ticat defensive lineman Brian Bulcke knows what it feels like to suffer a concussion. He wants people to understand it’s a serious injury.“You blow out your ACL for the third time and people understand that you can’t play anymore. You take that 3rd hit to the head and everyone is questioning it.”And can sometimes come with serious consequences, like depression or memory loss that can last for years“Just because we don’t have a crutch or just because we aren’t getting off the surgical table or in a wheelchair or something like that you don’t see that aspect there is a lot of recovery that happens from a concussion.”Hundreds of people were at Western University Wednesday for a concussion workshop, including former hockey star Eric Lindros whose career ended after a series of blows to the head.“Concussions can happen to anyone not just athletes.”They’re hoping to teach people how to recognize one and what to do about it.There are a few tests athletes can take on the sidelines to see if they may have suffered a concussion. It’s as simple as standing on one foot as concussions affect your balance, or tracking eye movement and the ability to focus.But researchers are looking for something more definitive, like a blood test“There’s a lot of effort here and other places in Canada and around the world trying to find blood bio markers something that would indicate that something is wrong and out of balance.” says Dr. Dekaban.And find a better way to treat it.“Can we devise strategies to actually make things better over and above rest is there something we can actively do.” says Dr. Arthur Brown.To help them do that the NHL players association is helping to fund concussion research at the University.The NHL players association announced today it’s contributing $500 000 but is also challenging Canadians to raise $2.5 million to support this research.