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
Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.
The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...
Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.
Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...
In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
20.04.2018 | Health and Medicine
20.04.2018 | Materials Sciences
20.04.2018 | Earth Sciences