AAN: Safety Additions to Helmets of Little Benefit

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AAN: Safety Additions to Helmets of Little Benefit
AAN: Safety Additions to Helmets of Little Benefit

(HealthDay News) -- Football helmet add-ons may not reduce players' risk of concussion, according to a new study scheduled for presentation at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology, to be held from April 18 to 25 in Washington, D.C.

In the study, the researchers tested four football helmet add-ons: Guardian Cap; UnEqual Technologies' Concussion Reduction Technology; Shockstrips; and Helmet Glide. Two brands of football helmets were outfitted with the add-ons and placed on a crash test dummy head and neck. Sensors were placed in the dummy's head to measure impacts at 10, 12, and 14 miles per hour.

Compared to helmets without add-ons, those fitted with the Guardian Cap, Concussion Reduction Technology, and Shockstrips reduced linear accelerations by about 11 percent, but only reduced angular accelerations by 2 percent. Angular accelerations are believed to be the major forces involved in concussions, researcher John Lloyd, of BRAINS Inc. in San Antonio, Fla., explained in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology. Helmet Glide had no effect.

"Our study suggests that despite many products targeted at reducing concussions in players, there is no magic concussion prevention product on the market at this time," Lloyd said. "Few add-on products have undergone even basic biomechanical evaluation. Hopefully, our research will lead to more rigorous testing of helmets and add-ons."

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