Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bill that Was Supposed to Use Sensors on Helmets Dies in Subcommittee

Opponents of a Maryland House of Delegates bill that would have led to sensors being affixed to helmets across the state have successfully defeated the bill before it could get out of subcommittee.

The bill would have reportedly required each county to select a high school, which would equip all football players’ helmets with sensors to alert athletic trainers if a hit was thought to be severe enough to cause a concussion.

The opposition included people like John Woolums, director of government relations for the Maryland Association of Boards of Education. He argued that attaching the sensors to helmets could impede helmet safety, by ensuring that they “no longer conform with safety standards.”

Brain Sentry CEO Greg Merril, whose company was prepared to install the sensors, disagreed with that contention.

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Local Television Station Breaks Story about High Schools Using Unsafe Helmets

A central Texas television station — KVUE – has reported that several high schools in its market are using football helmets that are considered unsafe, according to a university study.

The helmets in question were the Riddell VSR 4 product line, which the station claims are the lowest rated based on tests conducted by Virginia Tech University and Wake Forest University.

Once contacted, KVUE said the schools — Dripping Springs, McNeil and Stony Point took steps to eliminate the helmets from inventory.

The helmet rating system is not without controversy. The National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, for example, claims there is little difference in safety between most helmets.

The station has included a poster, produced by the universities, on its site:

http://media.kvue.com/documents/140223102637_Helmet_Ratings_Poster.pdf

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Professor Looks at the Psychological Aspects Of Sports Concussion on NCAA Site

The NCAA has published an article by a professor in the Department of Neurological Surgery and the Director of Neuropsychological Services and Research at the University of Washington Sports Concussion Program, which looks at the Psychological Aspects Of Sports Concussion

Author David B. Coppel, PhD, focuses on the emotional and psychological aspects of sports-related concussion (SRC), which “can emerge related to a student-athlete’s response to injury and/or their response to recovery.”

“The emotional symptoms that emerge from SRC can prolong recovery and often reflect  predisposing or premorbid factors,” he wrote. “These factors can include prior depression or anxiety disorders, traumatic stress history, prior head injuries or other neurological vulnerabilities, learning issues, hypervigilance or somatic focus, or personality characteristics or disorders (Silverberg & Iverson, 2011).  Psychological factors associated with prolonged or persistent post-concussive symptoms include ineffective and maladaptive coping styles, sleep disturbance often due to mental activation, anxiety and stress/rumination, nocebo effect (adverse effects created or maintained by  negative expectations (Hahn, 1997; Scudellari, 2013)) and other expectation effects, and family or social network/support problems. Since the primary tool in the medical management of SRC involves tracking symptoms over time, one must wonder if focusing on symptoms on a daily or regular basis produces hypervigilance to symptoms and can result in reinforced illness behavior and iatrogenic effects resulting in prolonged post-concussion symptoms.”

References

Hahn, R. (1997)  The Nocebo Phenomenon:  Concept, Evidence and Implications for Public Health.  Preventive Medicine, 26, 607-611.

Silverberg, N. & Iverson,G. (2011) Etiology of the post-concussion syndrome:  Physiogenesis and psychogenesis revisited.  NeuroRehabilitation, 29, 317-329.

To read the complete story, visit: http://www.ncaa.org/health-and-safety/medical-conditions/psychological-aspects-sports-concussion

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