Football, Helmets and Brain Injury
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.
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