Category Archives: Professional

Technology Preventing Brain Injury Inspired by Woodpeckers

By Brooks Schuelke of Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC

It is difficult to imagine that a bird and a football player have much in common, but they do, and the lowly woodpecker just may hold the key to making safer football helmets.

The history of football is rife with attempts to make a better helmet for players to prevent skull fractures. While the technology does exist to prevent or diminish skull fractures, there is little to no protection from brain injuries. This is where the woodpeckers come into play.

Dr. Gregory Myer, is the director of research and the human performance lab at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Sports Medicine division. Myer was contacted by Xennovate Medical’s CEO, David Smith, who was enthused about the possibilities of a possible breakthrough in brain injury care. The idea proposed came about as a result of studying woodpeckers.

Smith explained to Myer that woodpeckers prevent concussions by wrapping their tongues around their jugular veins to increase blood flow to the brain. This keeps the brain from moving about inside the skull while the bird hammers on wood. Myer understood that since the bird could not protect its head from the outside, the adaptation of winding its tongue around its jugular would prevent brain injuries. Mayer began research on the “Q Collar,” also known as the Neuroshield, which is designed to be worn around the neck and increase blood flow to human brains.

The initial prototype Neuroshield performed well in field tests with high school football teams, soccer teams and a SWAT team. The promising results may give the Neuroshield a chance that it could be pressed into service for the U.S. military. Although there is still more research to conduct, if the theory behind preventing brain trauma is correct, the collar may become an integral part of daily life and even be used while riding a bike or motorcycle. It is anticipated that the collar manufacturer, the Performance Sports Group, may put the product on the market by 2018.

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Concussion Litigation Reporter Celebrates Five Years, May Issue Is Available to All

Hackney Publications is celebrating five years of publishing Concussion Litigation Reporter by making the May 2017 issue available to all at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/concussion-litigation-reporter/concussion-litigation-reporter-sample/

“This issue is emblematic of how the industry around legal and risk management issues associated with sports concussions is intensifying,” said Editor Holt Hackney (hhackney(at)hackneypublications.com). “We have some terrific guest authors as well as a selection of copy generated by our team at Hackney Publications.”

To subscribe, visit http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/

Concussion Litigation Reporter — May 2017

 

 

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Discussion on NCAA and Concussions Steals the Show at Harvard Law School Symposium

(Editor’s Note: What follows is original reporting in Concussion Litigation Reporter from Eugene Egdorf of Shrader & Associates. To read the full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

On March 7, 2017, Harvard Law School held its annual Sports Symposium. This year’s topic was entitled “Legal & Ethical Issues Affecting NFL Player Safety.” The event included the most well- speakers known on this topic – folks such as Chris Nowinski and Dr. Robert Cantu, co-founders of Concussion Legacy Foundation; Keynote Speaker DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director of the NFLPA, and Michael McCann, University of New Hampshire Law Professor and writer for Sports Illustrated.

While the title of the event emphasized the NFL, the real highlight was the panel discussion pertaining to the NCAA, which included the NCAA’s Executive Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Oliver Luck.

The discussion of the science on concussions and head trauma was led by Dr. Cantu with additional data provided by Chris Nowinski. Several significant points were brought out:

  1. Contrary to the operating myth from the NCAA and NFL, concerns over head trauma, concussions, and what we now know as CTE did not become known in the late 2000’s, but rather in the 1930’s, with articles and concerns for “punch-drunk football players” – just like boxers.
  2. The CTE problem is far more pervasive and the future far darker than folks want to admit. Boston University researchers have thus far examined 151 brains of former college football players, and have found CTE in 138, or 91 percent. While thus far no longitudinal studies have been done, it appears that if anything CTE and its symptoms are UNDERREPORTED. And every head trauma adds to the risk – as Dr. Cantu said ” the best analogy to CTE is cigarette smoking.”
  3. Science does not yet know what exposure levels are necessary to cause CTE. Onset appears to vary. But it has been found in teens. There seems to be little doubt that CTE can arise in anyone that has head trauma, and more hits makes it more likely CTE will develop.

To read the rest of the points and full article, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/

 

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