Football, Helmets and Brain Injury

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The focus
on football-related brain injury is taking center stage as more players are identified as  having multiple brain injuries from concussions and researchers are relating Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, known as CTE, to multiple concussions. The question is emerging about helmet technology: can better helmets reduce impact-related injuries. Founded in 1997 by a Swedish neurosurgeon, the company which has developed and manufactured the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System or MIPS offers an opportunity to put technology on the playing field. Other manufacturers like Riddell are joining in and developing helmets which can reduce injury through better protection technology.

With players starting at an early age, there are opportunities for brain injuries to occur from the youngest players in Pee Wee ball to high school and college and through the professional football athletes. I had the opportunity to hear George Visger, a former San Francisco 49’er, report on the effects of his multiple concussions which resulted in long-term problems and his ongoing struggle to live with the effects of TBI at the 2012 Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference last February. In his presentation, Mr. Visger showed a remarkable video of the play which ended his career. Visger, like many other pro-footballers, has been dealing with the long-term effects of his multiple TBI’s and is seeking to prevent these problems for others through increasing awareness of football related TBI and prevention strategies.

The prevention of TBI and ultimately the compound effects of multiple injuries leading to CTE requires a multi-level approach: early detection and treatment of concussions; training coaches to detect injuries; changing some aspects of the rules and improving helmet technology.

To learn more about the MIPS technology to improve helmet design click here.

http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1452332-could-this-be-the-helmet-that-saves-football?hpt=hp_t3

Tag Lines: Traumatic Brain Injury; Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy; Santa Clara Valley Brain Injury Conference; multiple concussive injuries; George Visger; TBI; CTE; brain injury rehabilitation; MIPS

About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.
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