September, Discussions About Back-to-School and mTBIs in Sports Renew

It’s that time of year, when legions of students and athletes fill school buses and gridirons across the country and the spotlight again shifts to sports-related collisions that result in concussions. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, football, hockey and lacrosse contribute to the number of concussions. But let’s not forget other team sports, including basketball and soccer, which bring their own sets of risks.

While research about the negative effects—both long- and short-term—of collisions and related concussions continues, a group of clinicians, including an anesthesiologist, set out to find a way to reduce these dangerous sports-related injuries.

Their solution centers around a device, a neckband, that’s designed to reduce the movement of the brain (“rattle effect”) inside the skull that follows a collision. The idea that led to this resolution was originated by David Smith, MD, an internist at Reid Hospital and Health Care Services in Richmond, Indiana, who brought it to Joe Fisher, MD, anesthesiology professor at the University of Toronto and anesthesiologist at University Health Network, whose firsthand knowledge of compression of internal jugular veins and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure took the device design further.

Moving the ball down the field, the two teamed up with Julian Bailes, MD, a neurosurgeon at West Virginia University, who conducted research on rats. Findings of their studies were published in the Journal of Neurosurgery. Clinical trials of the device began at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Alternative use for the device in the military is now being considered.

Source:  Anesthesiology News (2016, April 6). New Device Aims To Reduce Mild Traumatic Brain Injury In Sports and the Military. Retrieved from

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