geldefender® Blog

  • 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.

  • Riddell sued by former NFL players

    The NFL isn’t the only organization being accused of keeping secrets about head injuries. Helmet manufacturer Riddell is now being sued by former NFL players for hiding evidence that the helmets were flawed.

     

    Allegedly, the players have discovered decades-old documents proving that the helmets Riddell was making were faulty, but the findings were ignored. They claim that, like the NFL, they also knew about the damaging consequences of concussions and hid them from the players.

     

    The report being referenced – a 1969 study funded by the NFL, the National Institute of Health, and several branches of the US military – even goes so far as to suggest that “the cause of many head injuries is directly related to the design of the helmet” (in particular the then-recent development of the face mask).

     

    Despite these worrying assertions and the conclusion that more research should be undertaken, the suit claims that nothing was done about the study. This newest accusation adds new perspective to the already bleak history of concussion cover-ups in the industry.

     

    *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.

  • Internal emails shed light on NHL attitudes toward concussions

    A number of internal NHL emails have recently been released as part of the ongoing lawsuit against the league, and they reveal an upsetting attitude towards concussions.

     

    One exchange between Commissioner Gary Bettman and then-Senior VP of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan reads, “Any more concussions?” “Not so far.” “Night is young!” Another time, Executive Vice President of Communications Gary Meagher wrote, “The nhl has never been in the business of trying to make the game safer at all levels and we have never tried to sell the fact that this is who we are…”

     

    The last few years have seen many major sport organizations paying for perceived nonchalance or outright neglect regarding concussions. In truth, these NHL emails are out of context, and they are less disturbing than many similar reports in the professional athletics world. Nevertheless, concussions are serious matters, and high-ranking officials cannot take them lightly or absolve themselves of responsibility. Their positions give them the ability to protect hockey players’ heads; that they would choose not to do so is disappointing.

     

    *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.

  • NFL's concussion study deeply flawed, NYT says

    Until very recently, the NFL spent years dismissing the idea that concussions had long-term consequences, pointing to their internal research as justification. Now, the New York Times has discovered that the same research was fundamentally flawed, leaving the NFL with no leg to stand on.

     

    According to the report, the NFL study was based on faulty and incomplete data, with several high-profile players’ and some entire teams’ concussions being omitted altogether. As a result, the study’s deductions were skewed.

     

    From 1996 until 2001, the NFL collected what was supposed to be all the concussions diagnosed by team physicians in the league. However, apparently the teams were not actually required to submit their concussions, and that led to the omission of 10 percent of the concussions during that period.

     

    Though Dr. Joseph Waeckerle, who served on the committee, told the NYT that he didn’t know about the omitted data, he correctly added that the committee “screwed up.” Whether they were deliberate or accidental, the errors invalidate the study and its conclusions.

     

    This news is less momentous after the NFL’s public acknowledgement of the link between football and CTE, so some of the wind was taken out of the NYT’s sails. But now the data that the NFL cited for years to justify ignoring concussions can be put to bed once and for all.

     

    *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.

  • NFL affirms link between football and CTE

    ‘Twas the “yes” heard ‘round the world.

     

    For a very long time, the NFL outright denied any link between football and long-term brain problems. Then the proof began piling up, and their stance shifted to, essentially, “no comment.” The league has donated funds to concussion research and instigated protocols for injured players, but it never crossed the line to admitting that football was causing long-term brain damage.

     

    Until last Monday. When Representative Jan Schakowsky of the House Energy and Commerce Committee asked Jeff Miller, the NFL’s senior vice president for health and safety policy, whether there’s a link between football and degenerative brain disorders like CTE, his replied definitively: “The answer to that is certainly, yes.” And shockwaves ran through the football community.

     

    The day after Miller’s remark, an NFL spokesperson confirmed, “The comments made by Jeff Miller yesterday accurately reflect the view of the NFL.”

     

    For the first time, we have a clear-cut, unambiguous acknowledgement from the NFL that its sport can cause long-term head trauma.

     

    Keep in mind that the NFL is on the short list of individuals and organizations worldwide who have the most to lose from the concussion crisis. Therefore, Miller’s words have far more weight than they would coming from another’s mouth.

     

    In short, if the NFL is saying it, it must be true.

     

    *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.

  • New test to predict length of concussion recovery developed

    Head injury researchers have identified a 12-point risk score to predict how long children will suffer from concussion symptoms.

     

    A Canadian team studied about 3,000 concussion victims ages 5 to 18, looking at 46 variables in the head injury and recovery process. From there, the team identified the nine that best predicted how long a victim suffered from his or her symptoms (about 30 percent of the children were still suffering 28 days after the concussion).

     

    The team compiled those factors (like age, gender, concussion and other medical history, and problems with balance) into a test that anticipates a victim’s recovery time. All of them are data that would be compiled at an ER, so this offers the ability to crunch that information into a better treatment plan going forward.

     

    Of course, the test will need to be further vetted and evaluated before it can be considered reliable, but this advancement could be a big factor in helping kids with concussions know what to expect as they deal with their head injuries.

     

    *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.

  • Concussions in women's sports often overlooked

    Concussions in football and hockey have garnered plenty of attention, in some ways eclipsing other sports, particularly women’s. But studies suggest that women are actually more susceptible to concussions than men, so they deserve equal if not more attention.

     

    The reasons behind the disparity between men’s and women’s concussions are up for debate and a subject of extensive ongoing research. Some say women’s necks are weaker; others cite a genetic predisposition. Still others theorize that there is no difference but that women are just more honest in reporting symptoms and therefore are diagnosed more.

     

    But despite the worrying numbers, women’s concussions have still been by and large shunted to the side of head injury dialogue. So as you take action to protect your sons’ heads in football and baseball, don’t forget that your daughters too need protection in soccer and softball. Women and girls comprise such a large percentage of athletes; don’t make the mistake of overlooking their heads.

     

    *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.

  • WWE star retires due to head injury damage

    WWE star Daniel Bryan has retired from wrestling at the age of 34 due to seizures he now experiences after concussions.

     

    Bryan announced the end of his 16-year career earlier this month. He initially had tried to keep the seizures a secret so he could keep wrestling, but when his wife (fellow WWE star Brie Bella) witnessed one, she was deeply scared. Having had three concussions within just his first five months of wrestling, Bryan knew that his overall head injury count was likely extremely high. He eventually made the decision that, for his own health, it was time to quit. Bella will also be retiring this year.

     

    Obviously, Bryan should have quit as soon as the seizures began. It was reckless, to put it in the mildest terms, to allow his head to continue to be harmed, knowing how much damage had been sustained already.

     

    Still, he publically and freely attributed his retirement to his head injuries, when he could have bowed out gracefully without explaining his medical problems. By choosing to reveal the concussions and the seizures, he increased head injury awareness to those who follow the WWE, and for that he should be commended.

     

    *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.

  • Did the Browns misdiagnose Manziel with concussion to cover his drunkenness?

    Johnny Manziel and the Cleveland Browns found themselves at the center of concussion news this week. Allegations were made that the team diagnosed Manziel with a concussion in order to cover up the fact that he came to work drunk.

     

    Manziel came to a team meeting the Wednesday before the Browns’ season finale (Dec. 30) complaining of light sensitivity, headache, and vomiting. He was subsequently diagnosed with a concussion by an independent neurologist and ruled out of the game.

     

    But recent reports have suggested that he was either drunk or hung over and that the Browns misreported a concussion to cover up that fact. Manziel proceeded to go to Vegas and then miss his next assessment. Eventually he was released from the concussion protocol on Jan. 12.

     

    The Browns have been severely lambasted for the assumed cover-up, and if there was in fact a deliberate misdiagnosis, especially given how difficult it’s been to motivate professional teams and players to take concussions seriously, then they deserve it. Taking advantage of the public’s sensitivity to concussions to cover up bad behavior is not okay in any way.

     

    But by the same token, concussion diagnoses are heavily dependent on patient feedback. Hangovers and concussions have many symptoms in common, so when Manziel displayed those symptoms, the Browns were absolutely right to send him for an examination. In fact, they would have been equally criticized if they had failed to take Manziel’s symptoms seriously and ignored them.

     

    If he was misdiagnosed thereafter, it’s possible that it was simply because Manziel’s symptoms and feedback matched those of a concussion victim. Again, if the doctors and team knew he didn’t have a concussion and reported one anyway, that is unacceptable. But if there was a real possibility that what he was experiencing was in fact a head injury, they did the right thing. When it comes to head safety, it’s much better to err on the side of caution.

     

    *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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