The study analyzed head impact data compiled from eight collegiate football teams that included Virginia Tech, University of North Carolina, University of Oklahoma, Dartmouth College, Brown University, University of Minnesota, Indiana University, and University of Illinois.
The ability of the Riddell Revolution (left) and the Riddell VSR4 (right) helmets to reduce concussion risk was compared in the study. A significant difference in concussion risk between these two helmet designs was found by the authors.
Credit: Virginia Tech
Six years of data were collected between 2005 and 2010. During this time a total of 1833 players wore helmets that were equipped with sensors to measure the biomechanics of over one million head impacts. All players either wore a Riddell VSR4 or Riddell Revolution helmet. The researchers compared the rates of concussion between the two helmet types.
The manuscript reports a 54 percent reduction in concussion risk for players in the Riddell Revolution compared to players in the VSR4 helmet. "This is the first study to control for the number of times players hit their heads when comparing helmet types," said Steve Rowson, lead author and an assistant professor in the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences.
"No previous study has been able to account for this variable. Controlling for head impacts allows you to compare apples to apples. For example, you're not comparing a player in one helmet who rarely gets hit to a player in another helmet type who frequently gets hit."
The sensors in the helmets measured head acceleration for each impact players experienced. Players in the VSR4 helmets experienced higher head accelerations resulting from impact than players in Revolution helmets. The authors attribute this to the Revolution helmets better modulating the energy transfer from the impact to the head, which results in lower head accelerations. "Helmets that better lower head acceleration reduce concussion risk," Rowson said.
The authors stress that no helmet will ever be able to prevent all concussions. "While some helmets will reduce risk more than others, no helmet can eliminate risk," said Stefan Duma, professor and head of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Better helmet design is just one of many strategies that play a role in reducing concussions in football. "The most effective strategies are altering league rules and teaching players better techniques. These strategies focus on reducing the number of head impacts that players experience," Duma added. "However, head impacts in football will always occur, even with the best rules and technique. This is where improving helmet design to best reduce concussion risk becomes critical. Our data clearly demonstrate that this is possible."
In addition to Rowson and Duma, other authors of this study were Richard Greenwald, Jonathan Beckwith, and Jeffrey Chu of Simbex, Kevin Guskiewicz and Jason Mihalik of the University of North Carolina, Joseph Crisco and Bethany Wilcox of Brown University, Thomas McAllister of the Indiana University School of Medicine, Arthur Maerlender of Dartmouth College, Steven Broglio of the University of Michigan, Brock Schnebel and Scott Anderson of the University of Oklahoma, and Gunnar Brolinson of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Lynn Nystrom | VT News
Smart Data Transformation – Surfing the Big Wave
02.12.2016 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik FIT
Climate change could outpace EPA Lake Champlain protections
18.11.2016 | University of Vermont
Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
09.12.2016 | Life Sciences
09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation
09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine