Innovation & Research

The Laboratory for Science and Health in Artistic Performance at Ohio University and the Boston University CTE Center are working with stunt performer communities to undertake an important, groundbreaking research project to help stunt performers—Stunt Performance Research Investigating Neurological Trauma, or the SPRINT Study. You can play a valuable role in this effort.

What is being studied…

Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a condition of the brain that occurs in individuals who receive repeated impacts to the head in sports, in military combat exposures, and in other activities where the head is at risk of receiving direct blows or whiplash injuries. CTE results in gradually deteriorating neurological and psychological status in those who suffer from it. Unfortunately, there is no way to diagnose CTE until someone passes away and their brain is examined by pathologists.

Stunt performers are crucial to the success of motion picture and television productions. They are regarded as professional athletes in their field; thus, for their long-term health and wellness, stunt performers should receive the same type of attention, healthcare, and research that sports athletes receive. We strongly suspect that stunt performers also may suffer from CTE because of the head trauma, whiplash actions, and body impacts that occur throughout their careers.

As a research group, we are firmly committed to advocating for stunt performers’ well-being. This is why we want to explore the possibility of CTE in the stunt performing community. Participating in this research provides an opportunity for current performers to play an important role in the reduction of risk and treatment of head injuries for future stunt performing generations.

How you can help…

  1. Consider donating your brain to this research upon your passing, and
  2. Inform your family about your wishes.

Over a period of years, we hope to gather information that will help us make stunts safer, improve stunt performers’ access to appropriate healthcare, and enhance the quality of life of aging performers.

More information…

Participating in this research project is voluntary. The Boston CTE Center can provide you with all the details about the research. Please request further information by e-mailing Madeline Resnick at the Boston University CTE Center:, or by phone +1-617-358-6027.
Website with further details and FAQs:
If you have general questions about research being done with stunt performers, you can e-mail Dr. Jeff Russell at

Ready to participate?

  1. First, discuss this difficult topic with your family.
  2. As your passing draws near, you or your family should reach out to the Boston University CTE Center 24/7 Brain Donation Line at phone number +1-617-992-0615. You or your family should indicate that you wish to be included in the stunt performer study.
  3. The Boston University team will make all arrangements in close partnership with your family so your family’s interests are protected. There will be no cost to your family for allowing your participation.

Research Team

Ohio University
Dr. Jeff Russell

Stunt Performers
Dr. Leslie McMichael
Greg Poljacik
Lori Stewart
Banzai Vitale

Boston Univ. CTE Center
Dr. Ann McKee and colleagues