Monthly Archives: February 2015
The venerable Globe and Mail of Toronto, quoting from Women’s Sports Foundation research, has reported that girls hockey players suffer concussions at a greater rate than their male counterparts on the football field.
“Across all sports in the study, the highest rate of concussion was reported not by male football players, but by female hockey players,” according to the Foundation.
The article went on to cite a Washington Post Commentary by Marjorie A. Snyder, senior director of research for the Foundation, who said that “studies show that female softball players experience concussions at double the rate of male baseball players and that the injuries were also higher for basketball and soccer.”
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Football helmet add-ons such as outer soft-shell layers, spray treatments, helmet pads and fiber sheets may not significantly help lower the risk of concussions in athletes, according to a recently released study that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 67th Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, April 18 to 25, 2015.
“Our study suggests that despite many products targeted at reducing concussions in players, there is no magic concussion prevention product on the market at this time,” said study author John Lloyd, PhD, of BRAINS, Inc. in San Antonio, Fla., and a member of the American Academy of Neurology.
Researchers modified the standard drop test system, approved by the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, by using a crash test dummy head and neck to more realistically simulate head impact. Sensors were placed in the dummy’s head to measure linear and angular rotational responses to helmet impacts at 10, 12 and 14 miles per hour.
Using this device, BRAINS researchers evaluated four football helmet add-ons: Guardian Cap, UnEqual Technologies’ Concussion Reduction Technology, Shockstrips and Helmet Glide. Riddell Revolution Speed and Xenith X1 football helmets were outfitted with each of these add-ons and impacted five times from drop heights of 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 meters. Linear acceleration, angular velocity and angular accelerations of the head were measured in response to impacts.
The study found that compared to helmets without the add-ons, those fitted with the Guardian Cap, Concussion Reduction Technology and Shockstrips reduced linear accelerations by about 11 percent, but only reduced angular accelerations by 2 percent, while Helmet Glide was shown to have no effect.
“These findings are important because angular accelerations are believed to be the major biomechanical forces involved in concussion,” said Lloyd. “Few add-on products have undergone even basic biomechanical evaluation. Hopefully, our research will lead to more rigorous testing of helmets and add-ons.”
The study was supported by BRAINS, Inc. and Seeing Stars Foundation.
Concussions affect athletes differently.
Its one of challenging truisms about the medical condition.
Witness Oakland Raiders middle linebacker Nick Roach. he missed the entire 2014 season after suffering a concussion in a preseason game. And he is still having headaches.
General manager Reggie McKenzie was non-committal in comments at the NFL this week.
“That decision is up to Nick and the medical staff,” he said. “I am not going to rush him to play when mentally he’s not ready.”
Roach has said publicly that he has had “two or three” other concussions in the past.
“You have got to start looking out for the player,” McKenzie said. “As much as we’d love him to be our signal caller on defense, I don’t want to risk lifelong injury if he goes out there. Especially if he has any, not discomfort, but any type of feeling within him that something’s not right. And for it to last this long is not a good thing.”