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Virginia Tech expands sports concussion-risk studies to include hockey and baseball
Date:1/28/2013

itive injuries that can cripple or eventually kill years after play have prompted dozens of headlines in major media outlets and several national studies, and even President Obama to recently weigh in on the subject. Dozens of former NFL players are suing the league over injuries sustained during years of play, and headlines were made this summer when former football great Alex Karras died at age 77 from various ailments, several allegedly said to be caused by years of hard hits.

In studying football-related injuries during the past decade, Duma and his research team have used on-field real-time sensors installed in the helmets of hundreds of adult and youth football players to study injuries, as well as a mechanical lab-tested 5-star rating system to track and grade commercially sold helmets.

The former can help indicate head injuries that require immediate attention while on the field of play. The latter has provided the only independent biomechanical data for consumers to make helmet purchasing decisions, Duma said.

Dumas goal is not to end the sport of football, but make it safer while still keep the same expected adrenaline rush and action for players, and viewers.

It is important to note that no helmet can prevent all concussions. The most effective strategies to reduce concussions in sports involve modifying league rules and player technique to limit exposure to head impacts, Duma said.

Beyond this, head impacts are a given in sport. Our research focuses on identifying helmets that reduce concussion risk so that athletes can make informed decisions based on independent data when purchasing equipment, which in turn, incentivizes helmet manufacturers to design helmets that better reduce head acceleration.
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Contact: Steven Mackay
540-231-4787
Virginia Tech
Source:Eurekalert

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