geldefender® Blog

  • NHL commissioner disputes link between concussion and CTE

    When the NFL's senior vice president for health and safety publicly recognized the link between concussions and CTE, it seemed that the last hold-out against the two’s correlation had finally conceded that battle. After, all, no one had as much to lose from the discovery as the NFL, so with the league’s public acknowledgement the matter was considered settled.

     

    Until NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke out this week. He claimed, “The science regarding CTE, including on the asserted ‘link’ to concussions . . . remains nascent, particularly with respect to what causes CTE.” He went on to claim that a link between concussions and CTE “has not been demonstrated” and that the relationship between the two “remains unknown.”

     

    His 24-page statement was a response to Senator Richard Blumenthal, who had questioned him about long-term head injury dangers. His choice of words may have influenced somewhat by the lawsuit that 105 former NHL players have filed against the league.

     

    He’s reopened a debate that seemed more or less closed, rehashing old arguments that the NFL staunchly defended for years before changing its tune in March. His remarks represent a step back in the dialogue, but what we really need is forward movement in the prevention, detection, and treatment of both concussions and CTE. Our energy should be focused on solving the problems that concussions present; arguing about whether they exist does nothing but drag us backward.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Widespread concussion problem in synchronized swimming needs an answer

    It’s no secret that concussions and football have become practically synonymous in recent years. Now, the attention has inspired scrutiny of lesser-known sports for similar problems. The trend’s newest sport? Synchronized swimming.

     

    The New York Times recent reported that at least 50 percent of synchronized swimmers are estimated to have sustained a concussion, though that may be a gross underestimation. Myriam Glez, chief executive of the sport’s national organizing body, told the NYT that it’s likely that every single one has been concussed at some point. It’s difficult for swimmers underwater to protect their heads from all angles in such tight formations, so crashing into one another is a regular occurrence.

     

    The sport is peripheral in the public’s awareness at best, so it’s no surprise that such a widespread and dangerous problem has flown under the radar thus far. But now that it’s been noticed, it’s crucial that a solution be found. Concussions should be a rarity in any sport, but in synchronized swimming it seems to be the rule. It’s time for that to change.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • One in three water polo players suffer concussions, survey says

    A recent survey suggests that more than one in three water polo players have suffered concussions during games or practice.

     

    According to the poll conducted by UC Irvine, goalies in particular are at risk, with 47 percent reporting having received concussions. Additionally, more women reported at least one concussion than men (43.5 percent and 30.8 percent respectively of the 1,500 who completed the survey).

     

    Since water polo boasts fewer athletes than football or hockey, it is often overlooked, resulting in less attention to the wellbeing of its players. But clearly concussions are more prevalent in the sport than was previously realized. If a third of the players sustain concussions (to say nothing of those who weren’t diagnosed), better head protection and safer play strategies need to be implemented, and those involved need to learn how to spot and properly handle concussions once they occur.

     

    This survey is a wake-up call; water polo as a sport needs to heed it.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Nearly 1 million children's concussions go untreated yearly, report says

    An estimated half of the concussions sustained by children in sports and recreational activities go untreated, according to a new study.

     

    The University of Washington, along with the University of Colorado and the Seattle Children’s Research Institute, reported that 1.1 – 1.9 million U.S. kids sustain concussions through sports or other recreational activities yearly. But the study claims that only half of them are reported to a doctor, leaving almost 1 million children to go untreated.

     

    This is a deeply disturbing number, especially when considering the likelihood of multiple concussions in some sports and activities. Even if we assume a generous margin of error, the sheer volume of children suffering concussions is stunning. That half of them are going unacknowledged, given what we now know about how concussions can affect long-term health, is cause for serious alarm and self-evaluation. Coaches, parents, organizers, and players should all look at how they can be more vigilant about head safety and concussion spotting. Maybe next year, 1 million heads won’t fall through the cracks.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • UK to begin study of concussions in jockeys

    The University of Kentucky along with the Jockeys’ Guild will soon be beginning a three-year study to develop a national concussion management protocol in horseracing.

     

    All riders at Kentucky’s Thoroughbred tracks will be given baseline tests before riding and then be retested after falls, a process similar to many sideline tests in other sports. The data will be compiled to create a standard protocol that can hopefully be applied to every track in the country.

     

    While racing doesn’t carry the same risk of repetitive contact as some other sports, a jockey’s head injury from a fall can be just as catastrophic and detrimental as a similar injury in football or soccer. Hopefully this new initiative will yield better protections and treatments for jockeys in the future and a safer sport all around.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Study: Sub-concussive hits may cause impaired eye function

    Researchers have recently discovered yet another scary side effect of blows to the head: impaired eye function.

     

    Repeated hits, even sub-concussive ones, can lead to issues with the eyes’ ability to focus, a new study reveals. Although it’s unclear whether the effects could be long-term – more research is needed, though the issues seem to heal naturally about three weeks postseason – this new development could be a valuable diagnostic tool. Even smaller impacts that don’t lead to concussions can now be evaluated and measured for their severity.

     

    In the five practices studied, 1,200 sub-concussive hits were recorded to the 29 football players’ heads, and those who were hit more than 40 times gradually had more and more trouble with their eyes’ ability to focus without double vision. In the future, if players are tested for similar effects at regular points during the season, the ones who are suffering from the repeated blows could be given proper treatment, even if no concussion is diagnosed.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Cheerleading concussion numbers higher than football's at UGA

    Despite the repeated concussion awareness boosts in recent years for football, hockey, baseball, rugby, and many others, cheerleading concussions have rarely been discussed.

     

    This is concerning because cheerleaders’ heads are at risk every time they attempt a stunt or a gymnastic maneuver. In fact, the University of Georgia sports medicine director recently said that the university had seen more concussions in cheerleading than in either football or soccer.

     

     

    Practicing and perfecting cheerleading routines is a long and hazardous process, and with every failed attempt, every fall or bad landing, the participants are running the danger of a concussion. And since cheerleaders typically don’t wear any form of head protection, they are even more susceptible to head injury.

     

    Perhaps the sport should begin normalizing some form of head protection during practices. While it would be impractical and less necessary for cheerleaders to wear head safety equipment while performing their finalized routines, let’s minimize the risk to their heads while they prepare that finished product.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Youth football players more likely to keep playing after concussion than older players

    Children below high school age are more likely to return to the football field after a concussion than their older counterparts, according to a new study.

     

    Even though only 10 percent of youth football players are sent back into play within 24 hours of suffering a concussion, that number is too high, especially when compared to the approximately 5 percent of college players and less than 1 percent of high schoolers.

     

    It makes sense, of course. High school, college, and professional organizations have more resources and are better able to dedicate time/energy/personnel to spotting and treating concussions. Also, self-reporting can be more difficult for younger players who don’t understand what they’re experiencing and can’t accurately describe it.

     

    But that doesn’t mean that we should just accept that some are going to be missed and move on. Children’s brains are even more susceptible to trauma than adults’, so youth concussions’ being more difficult to handle properly is not an excuse to write some of them off. The extra effort that may be required is absolutely worth it.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Research shows that healthy brains recovery faster from concussion

    Scientists are announcing new discoveries about how concussions affect the brain and what factors govern their recovery on what seems like a weekly basis. The newest revelation is that the healthier a mind is before a concussion, the faster it will heal from one.

     

    New research indicates that those who already have physiological impairments associated with mental illness in their brain when they are concussed are slower to recover. The researchers determined that those with pre-existing somatic symptoms (aches and pains caused by psychological distress) often took twice as long to return to full health.

     

    Of course, there are other factors that affect the length of recovery: the severity of the concussion, the recovering patient’s level of activity, and drug and alcohol consumptions to name a few. Brain physiology is only one piece of the puzzle, and plenty more pieces still need to be added, but we’re slowly gaining a clearer overall picture of the thing we call concussion.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

  • Former Raiders donate brains to concussion research

    Three former Oakland Raiders players have joined the ranks of pro athletes donating their brains to concussion research.

     

    George Atkinson, George Buehler, and Art Thoms made the announcement after it was confirmed that their fellow Raider Ken Stabler had CTE before he died. They are also speaking up about their experiences with head injury, a complete 180 from their playing days when most actively hid any signs of perceived weakness. They each have experienced symptoms of the degenerative brain disease like memory loss, headaches, and depression.

     

    They join the growing number of professional athletes who have suffered concussions and then pledged their brains to CTE research. Each new donation not only contributes to our knowledge of concussions and their effects on the brain but also emphasizes the seriousness of head injuries. Pro athletes are role models for younger players, and when they take concussions seriously, those that look up to them will take concussions seriously too.

     

    *Scientists have no conclusive evidence as to whether or how the reduction of g-forces during impacts reduces the number or degree of concussions and head injuries. GelDefender products provide supplemental padding as well as cooling and comfort benefits when used with helmets and caps. Participants in activities in which head impacts can occur should always use tested and approved helmets for protection. However, no helmet or supplemental padding can protect the user from all serious head or neck injuries that can result from impacts.

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