Can Hummingbirds Prevent Football Concussions?

Can clever new ideas prevent football concussions?Louisianans love football, so we can only hope that some genius invents a way to make the sport safe for players. We have good news. There are groups of intelligent people working to prevent football concussions.

Neurosurgeons at the NorthShore Neurological Institute and researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital are developing a helmet that may offer better protection against concussions. Creators of the helmet were inspired by the woodpecker, a bird that can slam its head against objects thousands of times a day without succumbing to brain trauma.

The helmet uses a collar that presses against the jugular vein, causing more blood to remain inside the skull. This mechanism provides an extra cushion for the brain, possibly reducing the severity or frequency of concussions. Researchers are currently testing the effectiveness of this new helmet on high school football players, and it may be another month before the results are published.

Why is this a big deal? At the moment, football helmets offer very little protection against concussions.

Why Do Helmets Fail to Prevent Football Concussions?

Sports-related concussions have gained considerable attention in the media due to high rates of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) found in the brains of former football players. CTE develops over years of receiving multiple concussions and has symptoms similar to dementia.

Concussions are caused by the brain sliding against the inside of the skull. This is due to the whiplash created by an impact. Unfortunately, helmets offer little protection against internal injuries caused by whiplash.

Researchers at the Florida Center for Headache and Sports Neurology tested 10 of the most commonly used football helmets for concussion prevention effectiveness. They found that helmets were more effective at preventing skull fractures than concussions.

Football safety needs a giant leap forward. To overcome the current controversy surrounding the sport, science may need to step in and provide a way to prevent CTE from developing in football players.

The Lafayette personal injury attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat have 20 years of experience helping those who have suffered brain injuries due to the negligent actions of others.


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