Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (http://www.sbes.vt.edu/) is expanding its ground-breaking research of testing football helmets to reduce the number of concussions to now include hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse.
The five-year plan will see the Virginia Tech research center, headed by Stefan Duma (http://www.sbes.vt.edu/duma.php), rate helmets worn by hockey, baseball, softball, and lacrosse athletes in their ability to lessen the likelihood of a concussion resulting from a violent head impact.
Ratings on hockey helmets are expected in fall 2013, followed by youth football in 2015, and then baseball, softball, and lacrosse in 2016. During that time, all ratings for adult and youth football helmets will continually be updated and released to the public.
The expansion into helmeted sports other than football comes on the heels of new research that allows for better prediction of sports-related concussions resulting from linear and rotational head accelerations. These accelerations result from head impacts that cause the head to translate and twist about the neck. The new research is published this month in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering (http://www.editorialmanager.com/abme/).
The new research is being funded by Virginia Tech, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (http://www.ictas.vt.edu/) at Virginia Tech.
New ratings for football helmets will include data for linear and rotational accelerations starting in 2015, said Duma, professor of biomedical engineering and department head of the Virginia Tech – Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences. Serving as lead author on the research paper is Steven Rowson (http://www.cib.vt.edu/people/bios/faculty_bios/bio_rowson.html), assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Virginia Tech.
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