geldefender® Blog

  • 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.

  • 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.

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