The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of firearm recoil during skeet and trap shooting on neurometabolic changes associated with traumatic brain injury (TBI).
This study plans to recruit a minimum of 10 participants with a maximum of 30 participants.
Primary Aims of the Study:
1) Determine the amount of recoil energy experienced by the shooter using kinetic energy calculations and motion analysis.
2) Determine the significance of neurometabolic protein alterations after one round (25 shots) of shooting. Neurometabolic proteins consist of ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase L1 (UCH-L1), glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), and protein S100B.
3) Compare recoil energy values to neurometabolic protein alterations.
4) Determine if neurometabolic protein values are consistent with values representative to TBI.
This study will consist of 5 stages (outlined below) and seeks to recruit a minimum of 10 participants and a maximum of 30 participants to examine the effects of firearm recoil on neurometabolic changes. Participants will be required to provide 3 blood samples at the following times below: Blood Draw 1, Blood Draw 2, and Blood Draw 3.
Stage 1: Wash-Out Period:
Following informed consent, participants will be required to remain absent from shooting all firearms for 7 days. This is the initial phase of the study, which allows for blood biomarker levels unrelated to shooting events to be obtained.
Stage 2: Blood Draw 1:
Participants will be required to attend an initial blood draw. Blood Draw 1 takes place following the Wash-Out Period in order to obtain baseline neurometabolic levels unrelated to shooting events. This blood sample will be used when comparing neurometabolic protein levels pre and post-shooting. Blood Draw 1 will take place at a designated facility at Marshall University and drawn/ sampled by a certified phlebotomist.
Stage 3: Shooting Demonstration and Intervention:
All participants enrolled into the study will be required to partake in a shooting demonstration intervention, held at the designated shooting range. Prior to the shooting intervention, a trained, competition skeet shooter will demonstrate proper shooting technique to assure all participants are handling the firearms correctly to minimize technique bias. Next, the shooting intervention will involve a warm-up shooting session to get oriented with the firearm technique, followed by a shooting session consisting of 25 shots (equal to one round of trap or skeet shooting). Participants will all use the study required 12-guage shotgun and ammunition during the shooting intervention to minimize recoil bias.
Stage 4: Blood Draw 2:
Participants will be required to provide a second blood draw immediately after the shooting intervention. Blood Draw 2 takes place at the shooting facility by an on-site phlebotomist. The blood sample must be obtained within one hour post-shooting.
Stage 5: Blood Draw 3:
Participants will be required to provide a third blood draw 24 hours after the shooting intervention. Blood Draw 3 allows for comparison of neurometabolic levels pre and post-shooting, as well as analysis of protein half-life. The blood draw will take place at a designated facility at Marshall University and sampled by a certified phlebotomist.
Data will be gathered by the study investigator. All data collected will be in a de-identified manner and stored in a locked filing cabinet at the office of the Principal Investigator.
All data will be analyzed using SPSS version 22 (IBM Corp., Armonk, NY). Appropriate measures of central tendencies or frequencies and percentages will be used for descriptive analysis. ANOVA or Correlation and Regression will be used when examining continuous variables among groups and all categorical comparisons will be analyzed using either Kruskal- Wallis, Mann- Whitney or Chi- Square test of associations.