Canada Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Common Data Elements Study (mTBI CDE)

The Canada Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Common Data Elements Study (mTBI CDE) is a national study looking at how children recover from concussions.

Our national interdisciplinary team of experts in concussion/ mild traumatic brain injury research includes trauma experts, neuro-psychologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, athletic therapists, pediatric neurosurgeons, emergentologists, neuroscientists and neurologists.

The study is funded by a $1.4 million grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Fonds de Recherche du Québec Santé over five years starting in 2013. Dr. Isabelle Gagnon is the Principal Investigator of a team of 27 co-investigators who aim to standardize pediatric mTBI diagnostic and treatment language in an effort to improve the care of children with concussions from coast to coast.  This cutting-edge study is part of a larger global TBI network termed InTBIR, or the International Initiative for Traumatic Brain Injury Research.

This Canadian study has six pilot sites across the country including:

  • Montreal Children’s Hospital, McGill University Health Network (Montreal, QC)
  • CHU Sainte-Justine (Montreal, QC)
  • CHUL / IRPDQ (Quebec,Quebec )
  • McMaster University (Hamilton, ON)
  • Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (Ottawa, ON)
  • University of Victoria (Victoria, BC)
Our research team

Our research leader is Dr. Isabelle Gagnon, Scientist and Staff Physiotherapist at the Montreal Children’s Hospital and Professor of Physiotherapy at McGill University.

Our study team at the Montreal Children’s Hospital includes Joanna Mazza, our study coordinator, Eleonore Walther-Paradis and Thomas Bertrand, both Research Assistants at the McConnell Centre for Innovative Medicine, and Mariya Budanova, our neuropsychology coordinator. The study is coordinated closely with the Trauma Department including Trauma Director, Debbie Friedman, Trauma Coordinator and Head Physiotherapist Lisa Grilli, and Trauma Coordinator, Helen Kocilowicz.

Team profiles:

Summer newsletter 2015

Across Canada, our research team of co-investigators includes the following experts:

Steering Committee members

  • Corinne Kagan (Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation)
  • Dr. Ramona Hicks (One Mind)
  • Dr. Grant Iverson (Harvard University)
  • Dr. Geoff Manley (University of California, San Francisco)
  • Dr. Shawn Marshall (University of Ottawa)
  • Dr. Elizabeth Theriault (Canada Institutes of Health Research)


  • Dr. Karen Barlow (University of Calgary)
  • Dr. Miriam Beauchamp (University of Montreal)
  • Dr. Brian Brooks (University of Calgary)
  • Dr. Brian Christie (University of Victoria)
  • Dr. Carol De Matteo (McMaster University)
  • Debbie Friedman (McGill University Health Centre)
  • Dr. Philippe Fait (Université Laval, Trois Rivières)
  • Dr. Gerald Gioia (National Children’s Hospital, Washington, D.C.)
  • Lisa Grilli (McGill University Health Centre)
  • Dr. Ryan Hung (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre)
  • Dr. David Juncker (McGill University)
  • Dr. Judith Marcoux (McGill University Health Center)
  • Dr. Brad McFadyen (Université Laval, Québec)
  • Dr. Martin Mrazik (University of Alberta)
  • Dr.  Lucie Pelland (Queen’s University)
  • Dr. Nick Reed (Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre)
  • Dr. Kathryn Schneider (University of Calgary)
  • Dr. Sheila Singh (McMaster University)
  • Dr. Katia Sirois (Université Laval, Québec)
  • Dr. Bonnie Swaine (University of Montreal)
  • Dr. Chand Taneja (Queen Alexandra Children’s Hospital)
  • Dr. Charles Tator (Toronto Western Hospital)
  • Dr. Patrick Stroman (Queen’s University)
  • Dr. Keith Yeates (University of Calgary)
  • Dr. Karl Zabjeck (University of Toronto)
  • Dr. Roger Zemek (Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario)
Our volunteer participants

Study Research Assistant Eleonore Walther-Paradis conducts a test with CDE participant at the Montreal Children's Hospital. 2015.

Study Research Assistant Eleonore Walther-Paradis and CDE participant Eve Legault, 14. 

What is a concussion?

A concussion is a type of brain injury that results in a disturbance in brain function. 

It can be be caused by a blow to the head, face, neck or body.  It may be accompanied by a loss of consciousness. It may affect balance, reaction time and the way the athlete may think and remember. 


 Signs observed, symptoms reported:

  • Confused/disoriented, does not know: time, place, activity, opposing team, or score of the game 
  • Cannot remember what happened before, during and/or after the injury
  • A brief loss of consciousness (knocked out
  • Easily distracted, difficulty with concentration
  • Not playing as well 
  • Slurred speech
  • Slow to answer questions or follow directions 
  • Strange or inappropriate emotions (i.e. laughing, crying, getting angry easily) 
  • Blank stare / glassy-eyed


• Headache • Nausea • Dizziness • Vomiting • Feeling dazed, “dinged” or foggy • Seeing stars or flashing lights • Ringing in the ears • Drowsiness • Double or blurry vision • Poor coordination • Impaired balance • Memory problems