One professor and researcher at UW-Green Bay is studying traumatic brain injuries.

He’s hoping the findings will have implications for athletes who suffer from concussions or CTE.

But he’s not studying actual athletes, the subjects of his experiments are much smaller.

Doug Brusich studies how flies recover from their brain injures or if they recover at all.

“Several successive injuries at a mild to moderate level result in the same sort of dysfunction as one severe injury suggesting that these more mild injuries, when coupled closely in time, is probably impactful toward outcomes,” says Brusich.

His work could potentially aid UWGB’s athletic department to find out what affects recovery time for athletes who suffer head injuries.

“There’s a lot more risk factors that we don’t know about right now,” says UWGB’s clinical education coordinator Sadie Buboltz-Dubs. “When we look at fruit flies and their genetic components and see what predisposes them to traumatic brain injury, we can then maybe transfer that over to human research.”

Brusich is hoping his research is just one more way to understand what’s happening in the brain of an athlete post injury.

“We can use flies effectively as a tool to see what’s important in recovery or sensitivity to these mild repetitive injuries that are similar to what’s being experienced during sports injuries,” says Brusich.

To see how Brusich puts the flies to the test, watch the video above.